How safe do you feel in your patrol vehicle?
The question is kind of ambiguous, in that, do I feel safe in the vehicle when I am in a high speed (over 80 MPH) chase? I had a blowout on the freeway while doing 75, spun in circles three times and then crashed into a gasoline tanker truck. In an other incident while getting on the freeway to assist in a pursuit of a Porche, I blew a tire and rolled the patrol car over. Seat belts work and the car crumbled in but I was not injured. In this case yes!
If you mean just driving on patrol in a marked unit, which we refer to as a "clown" car because of the flashing lights, etc., then we are just a target for someone to aim at. In the late 1970's police departments started to have "design contests" with new logos and color schemes to show an new "kinder" police department.
Our County Park Police went to a green scheme and the bad guys would not comply with any of their orders when it came time to close the park and they had to leave. The officers were called all kinds of names and I would be sent to assist them. There was definitely an "attitude adjustment " from the uncooperative few when they would see my "black and white" come rolling into the park.
Time is like a pendulum, the Black Panthers in California were ambushing us on a regular basis. Just like today, a wanna be gang banger is usually more dangerous then one that is actually in the gang. He is like a baby rattle snake, they strike immediately out of fear, the adult rattler will "size up" the situation prior to their attack.
If someone wants to kill a cop, we make great targets but we hope we are faster, better trained and have better equipment.
Yo Leonard: Very well spoken! Let's face it guys & gals...our profession has gotten even more dangerous not only because of the bad asses on the street but also from the assholes in office, using us a scapegoats!
They will throw us under the bus in a heart beat! Sadly some are reconsidering changing professions!
Stay Safe, Alert & Alive, Tom Kelly in Portland Or.