They got little cars
That go beep, beep, beep
They got little voices
Goin' peep, peep, peep
— Randy Newman, "Short People"
When I see those dinky Chevys cops are driving these days, it makes me want to mount a stool at the biker bar on Talleyrand and weep into my beer. That the gray-haired Harley hoodlums at every table can outrun police just ain't right!
The current cop vehicle is the Chevrolet "Caprice," a word that means a sudden, possibly insane, notion. Whoever notioned these downsized, popo putt-putts should be arrested. Gas-sippers are perfect rides for Grammy and Gramps, but for cops?
Back in the day, everybody drove Ford Crown Vics, cars so powerful, and so ugly, only cab companies and cops could love them. Just the sound of those monster V-8s winding up could bring law and order to places where gouging out eyes and biting off ears were the preferred indoor/outdoor sports.
How can cops be Road Warriors, or Warrior Princesses, in cars that make no noise, for heaven's sake? Where's the respect?
Where's the space? For cops to be cops, they need stuff — briefcases, Kevlar vests, leg irons, batons, spare Tasers, shotguns, etc.
Cops also need thug storage. Imagine if Caprice-equipped cops had to arrest some 350-pound fatback? They'd have to jam that porker into the cruiser with a crowbar. Once an XXXL fanny hits the cushions, the shocks will pop and the springs will be sprung before the cops can offload the weight at the Jax Jail.
It's embarrassing, but other cop rides are even weirder. Let's review:
The Armored Personnel Carrier: Due to Uncle Sugar's generosity, every one-blinker hamlet in America has one of these diesel behemoths. They are, truly, the gift of a baby elephant. Filling the tank and changing the oil may throw some of these burgs into Chapter 9.
Jacksonville's APC rumbles around the city now and then, but I've never understood how police actually use the thing. Most APCs are … More