Another post in another thread got me thinking about the subject of police cruisers and as some of you may, or may not, know I work alongside LEO's pretty much every day. In the course of my daily routine I'm regularly called upon to interact with peace officers and members of the enforcement branches which, if your only experience with "the cops" involves being chastised by them, is an enjoyable aspect of my job.
As such, I've had the benefit of speaking to various officers about the vehicles they use in the course of their duties and I've even had the luck to speak to members of the enforcement community who were themselves fortunate enough to be involved in their branches selection of new duty vehicles. I've heard it all and overwhelmingly the community says the same things about their cars. Having access to that information first-hand has colored the way I read the journalistic review of same including those articles published by Jalopnik.
It occurs to me, however, that we have quite a few active or retired members of law enforcement who may have their own opinions and that Opponauts in general tend to have their own and fairly strong opinions about these things and I'd really like to know what the community thinks of the new service vehicles they've encountered.
So, what are your thoughts?
Surprisingly, the most common answer I've heard is that law enforcement officers would have preferred to keep the Crown Victoria's in service. The old Panther had plenty of room for equipment, was easy to get in and out of with a full kit on your waist, and had enough power for typical police duties. Even getting on in years, the biggest complaint from the departments (and not the officers, I might add) was one of fuel economy because the old Fords were cheap to keep on the road and cheaper to buy new, even in comparison, than any of the Big Three offerings currently being pushed (and, in fact, the Dodge blows that budget right out of the water!) but, it's time has come and the bureaucrats must have their fun too... even if it involves massive mis-spending of allotted funds.