NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

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Thread: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

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    NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    The New York Times
    December 2, 2016


    Photo Credit: Rick Rojas

    In New York City’s tabloid newspapers and on blogs, they have been derided as “clown cars.” The previous police commissioner, William J. Bratton, described the subcompacts as “midget cars,” even as he announced their rollout last year.

    But the city cannot seem to get enough of the tiny, bean-shaped vehicles, which look like curiously shrunken cousins of the iconic New York Police Department patrol car and which never fail to draw the attention, and sometimes the affection, of curious passers-by.

    So despite the quips, and in part because of them, the agency is rolling out even more of the little vehicles, which are outfitted with red and blue lights and the insignia of the Police Department.

    The two-seat Smart Fortwos are taking the place of three-wheeled scooters that for decades have had their own peculiar place in the city’s vast fleet of otherwise muscular police vehicles.

    The Smart cars, though, are safer, cheaper and easier to operate. The officers appreciate the air-conditioning. There is also another unexpected benefit: As the Police Department has sought to project its friendlier side in an era of low crime, the Smart car has been an effective icebreaker.

    Among the department’s fleet of thousands of vehicles, including Ford Explorers racing to 911 calls and tow trucks clearing traffic lanes during the evening rush, the Smart car is quite possibly the only one that has its picture routinely shared on social media, described as “adorable” or, in the case of one parked in the West Village, “Cuuuuuute.”

    “It’s just so approachable,” said Robert S. Martinez, the deputy commissioner for support services, who oversees the department’s vehicles. “People want to take pictures with it. People want to hug it, they want to kiss it. It’s just amazing.”

    It has no siren and no space for a suspect, but its look borrows heavily from that of the department’s patrol cars, down to the blue stripes and the scrolling message board. The R.M.P., the shorthand in New York for a radio motor patrol car, has long been a defining symbol of the nation’s largest municipal police force, one broadcast far beyond the city’s borders by way of movies and television shows like “NYPD Blue” and “Law & Order.”

    It was an image shaped largely by the R.M.P.s of an earlier era: Chevrolet Caprices and Ford Crown Victorias. The cars were boxy, durable and occasionally missing a hubcap or two — rolling emblems of a department keeping watch over what was then a grittier metropolis. To some, the vehicles represented an unwelcome presence; to others, like Albert Roman, a retired narcotics detective from the Bronx, the cars conveyed authority. “It stands for something,” Mr. Roman, who restores and collects retired R.M.P.s, said.

    The first time he saw one of the Smart cars, he thought it was a joke. “To me, the cars look a little silly,” Mr. Roman said, even though he acknowledged the rationale for buying them made sense.

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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    We've always had the best cops here in NYC, and now we have the cutest.



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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    For In-City work, these will do just fine.
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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    The Streets of San Fran in Bullit come to mind.

    It make sense though in highly congested areas like DT New York. Thing is, it is hard to out run a Radio.

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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    I'll stick with my Charger, thanks.
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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    Might be good for the city and what they want but to me it looks just plain stupid.

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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    Absolute crap...
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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    They should put smiley face hubcaps on it.

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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    In the NYPD's 10,000 vehicle fleet, you'll find just about every imaginable vehicle, from 3-wheeled vehicles and scooters to hybrid vehicles, modified full size buses, and tow trucks. They have quite the fleet.
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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    Micky Mouse German cars, a Chevy Bolt fleet would be a much better cleaner greener option for a built up urban area.
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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    They should put smiley face hubcaps on it.
    They might as well. Part of the point of a police car is intimidation, this is literally the opposite of intimidating. The police are not there to be your friend, they're there to protect and serve. Low crime or no crime. You're supposed to be triggered by authority, not laugh at it.

    I had a friend in high school who drove a Smart. A couple of us literally picked up his car and walked away with it one day.

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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by sfbreh View Post
    They might as well. Part of the point of a police car is intimidation, this is literally the opposite of intimidating. The police are not there to be your friend, they're there to protect and serve. Low crime or no crime. You're supposed to be triggered by authority, not laugh at it.

    I had a friend in high school who drove a Smart. A couple of us literally picked up his car and walked away with it one day.
    Exactly right, the Smart car is visually one of the wimpiest cars on the market, a police officer should not step out of one.

    I always wondered how many guys it would take to pick up a smart car. Good job! If your friend was a guy, I hope you took his man card for buying one.

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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldsmobile stopped View Post
    Micky Mouse German cars, a Chevy Bolt fleet would be a much better cleaner greener option for a built up urban area.
    Daimler probably offered the NYPD a much better lease deal than GM - to save on taxes!

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    Re: NYPD Makes Smart Choice For Fleet Of New Police Cars

    Am I the only one that has Benny Hill Theme Song Music running through my head?

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