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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75587 Find in a Library
Title: Search for the Perfect Petite Patrol Car
Journal: Police Magazine  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1981)  Pages:18-22
Author(s): D Johnston
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The advantages and disadvantages of the small compact police car are explored in describing police departments' search for the ideal patrol car in the face of rising gas costs and lack of automaker interest in designing cars for police use.
Abstract: La Connor, Wash., is one example of a small but growing number of police departments which are buying, often reluctantly, smaller foreign and American cars. In 1981, the auto companies are offering police packages on a limited number of models with smaller engines -- a trend that is likely to continue. Consequently, police agencies have had to steadily reduce minimum performance standards. Because only about 60,000 cars will be purchased by police departments in 1981, Detroit's interest in the police car market has waned. The shrinking police car is making it difficult for policemen to catch speeders, who are still driving larger, older and more powerful cars that have a much longer life span than a police car. The national trend to smaller police cars began in the early 1970's when some police administrators looked for ways to cope with tightening budgets, escalating fuel and vehicle costs, and changing attitudes about the nature of police work. Disadvantages of smaller cars include the lack of speed and the absence of a prisoner cage. Partial remedies include 'souping up' the smaller cars for greater acceleration, although such efforts could conflict with Federal environmental emission laws. The move to smaller cars has fostered an increased interest in operating costs. For example, the demonstration of the dramatically lower operating costs of Chevrolet's Nova by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has resulted in less emphasis on buying the police car with the lowest purchase price. However, many departments continue to buy the lower priced police car, even though fuel savings alone may more than offset the increased initial cost of a more efficient car. No references are given.
Index Term(s): Gasoline; Police cars; Police effectiveness; Police equipment; Police pursuit driving
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