Saturday, October 09, 2004

Unmarked Police Squad Cars (sort-of)

I was over at the Dakota County services building yesterday to pay the second-half property taxes for our house. When I got there, I parked next to what I initially thought was a police car. Once I got out and walked in, I realized it was just a Crown Victoria for the county, that happened to look just like an unmarked cop car. It reminded me of a story from long ago.

When we were in high school one of my best friends worked for the city of Apple Valley's road maintenance department. He did a number of things, including mowing the grass in the medians, fixing potholes, picking up roadkill, driving around inspecting roads, etc.

For these 'inspections' they would always drive one of the city cars, which looked exactly like unmarked squad cars. They were Crown Vics (or Caprices, whichever was in use at that time), had the spotlight on the side, the same paint job, etc. The only difference was the 'City of Apple Valley' logo that was painted on one of the doors. If you didn't look closely, the cars looked identical to unmarked police cars.

The fun part of this, for my buddy at least, was occasionally when they were driving around and would pass someone, they would quick pull a u-turn behind them and come screaming up behind the other car. Thus making them think it was an unmarked squad that had caught them speeding/making rolling stops/whatever. As you can imagine, the the panicked reactions of the drivers were hilarious.

I always thought it sounded funny, in a cruel sort of way.

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