A police car is a vehicle used by law enforcement to transport police officers, detainees, civilians, and sometimes critters.

These days, the word car is a bit of a misnomer in many jurisdictions because many departments have switched over to SUVs and crew-cab pickup trucks with four wheel drive capabilities. You'll still find some sedans like the venerable Ford Crown Victoria in service as a squad car, particularly when agencies like the Highway Patrol need to chase down speeding cars. Some countries still prefer small sedans or hatchbacks for the fuel economy.

Most police cars are marked with department logos, large lettering indicating law enforcement, and messages like "to protect and serve" or "dial 911 for emergencies". They typically have the jurisdiction displayed, like NYPD or Dallas County Sheriff.

There are so-called "unmarked" police cars, but their license plates and low-profile emergency lights give them away in most cases. Some places just have small letters in reflective colors that match the color of the vehicle, so it's tough to see except at night. The Highway Patrol uses them to catch speeders.

If the vehicle is used to transport detainees, they disable the door opening levers in the back and have a mesh or wire bars separating the front from the back. Police cars that are assigned to K9 units have additional items added for safe transporting of the dog.


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