Chrysler has been producing Plymouth or Dodge patrol cars since the early 1930s, and for many of those early years Plymouth turned out some special cars for police work. The earliest came when the Washington State Patrol began using a 1932 Plymouth 1932 PB coupe, according to AllPar.com. Chrysler offered its first police package on 1956 Dodge Coronets. The 1970s brought the era of Mopar squads.
Special police badges have become a more common sight especially in larger agencies. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department issues anniversary badges every five years to boost officer morale and honor the agency's heritage. The agency emerged in 1973 from a merger of the Las Vegas Police Department and Clark County Sheriff's Department. The agency also produced a 9/11 badge commemorating the officers who helped in New York. View these badges, which were designed by Jimmy Smith, co-founder of an agency museum, and produced by Sun Badge Company. Photos courtesy of Sun Badge.
Boston celebrated two centennials in 2012—the building of Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox and the founding of the Boston Police Department's motor unit, which is known as the Mobile Operations Patrol (MOP) unit. The two centennials came together on Sept. 16, when agency brass recognized the unit's heritage during a ceremony in front of Fenway's "green monster" wall in left field. Photos courtesy of Robert Anthony.
Indianapolis Police Officers Elizabeth Robinson and Betty Blankenship are generally acknowledged as the first female officers assigned to patrol duties in a radio car. For more about this era of pioneering police women, read our related feature, "The First Female Patrol Officers." Photos: Collection of the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C.
The NYPD began using horse-drawn police wagons in the later part of the 19th Century to move police forces from place to place. Motorized wagons came into use later, and it wasn't until the 1920s and 30s that the department began regularly using motorized patrol cars. Plymouth two-door radio cars were the standard in the late 1930s and 1940s. By the 1970s, the Plymouth Fury was the mainstay. Black-and-white photos courtesy of the New York City Police Museum.
Riverside (Calif.) Police Officer Loren Mitchell became the first officer in his agency to work with a police dog when he was partnered up with "PAL" in 1958. Chief Sergio Diaz and the City Council honored the now-retired Officer Mitchell for this historical achievement at a City Hall ceremony. The photo gallery includes an apprehension the pair made during a 1950s traffic stop.
Ted Saraf's strong memories of his rolling office as a young officer with the Pasadena (Calif.) Police Department led him to Texas in 2008 to find and restore the object of his affection—a 1968 Dodge Coronet. Saraf purchased the vehicle via eBay, and set out to lovingly restore it to how he remembered it during its service days in the late 1960s and '70s. Saraf brought the vehicle to the 2011 Police Fleet Expo to show attendees his finished work.
The Ford Motor Co.'s March announcement that it will introduce a new patrol car has been met with a high level of interest from officers who have been driving the Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor since the 1990s. Ford has been producing vehicles for law enforcement for almost 100 years. Here's a look at photos and ads through the years that feature the company's vehicles, beginning with a Model T police truck produced in 1919.
This week's announcement that General Motors is bringing back the Chevy Caprice patrol car, an officer favorite it stopped producing in 1996, put the editors of POLICE Magazine in the mood to remember the Chevy patrol cars of years past. Chevy has a strong legacy in the patrol car market, and the reintroduction of the Caprice patrol car has excited officers who remember the hot pursuer of the 1990s. We'll start off with the 1954 Chevy Bel Air, a patrol car that was affordable and powerful.
The first female police officer in the country with arrest powers, Alice Stebbins Wells, arrived in 1910 with the Los Angeles Police Department. By 1937, the department employed 39 policewomen. Women are serving in most areas of the department; they have yet to crack the elite SWAT unit, but a 2008 report led to 12 women being accepted into the training program that feeds the unit. These photos, which show several of the pioneering police women of the department, have been provided by the Los Angeles Police Historical Society.