The police car is a vital instrument in the fight against crime.
Police have an important and dangerous job. Driving toward hotspots where criminal elements can strike back or flee is normal procedure, so it is no surprise that police officers take their cars very seriously. Often the difference between life or death, a caught prisoner or an escaped one, the police fleet must be versatile and sturdy enough to withstand any challenge.
In the majority of instances, the police force uses standard-issue cars for patrolling neighborhoods or giving pursuit. These are commonly referred to as “interceptors” and can be regularly seen on the roads. However, common by police standards still means a car with a powerful engine. A common model is the Chevrolet Impala Police Cruiser, with the latest model boasting a 3.9 L V-6 engine able to go 0 to 60 mph in 8 seconds. Another is the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, the most common vehicle used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S., with a V-8 engine and capacity to go 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. A slight upgrade on both of these is the Dodge Charger V-6 police issue, a vehicle primarily used by the highway patrol due to its speed. The Dodge can hit 0 to 60 in just 6 seconds.
For that extra bit of muscle, the police often require large SUVs or trucks. Whether to transport personnel and equipment, traverse difficult terrain or simply place an effective roadblock, these cars are incredibly useful to the force. A popular model is the Chevrolet Tahoe Police Vehicle, a spacious all-purpose SUV, with a 5.3 L V-8 engine that allows it to go 0 to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. A more luxurious vehicle, successfully used by the army, is the Police Hummer H2. The iconic truck boasts a 6.2 L V-8 engine and can hit 0 to 60 mph in 10.2 seconds. Although not regularly seen on the streets, the car is popular among sheriffs in more remote areas of the country.
Though not necessarily practical for hauling in criminals or patrolling the streets, a supercar is more a symbol of success and raw power. Most police around the world have them, and the U.S. is no exception. One such car, the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 B4C, is only sold new to law enforcement agencies and is one of the fastest police cars in the U.S. It can easily reach 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds through its LS1 V-8 engine. The Camaro is in widespread use across the country, but specific police departments can also order one-off customized cars. Some of those in use today are the Dodge Viper, Corvette C6 and Ford Mustang.