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  1. #1
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    Question Undercover LEO cars

    just curious as to what some of your undercover/unmarked cars are in your dept? you DONT have to name your dept. in my county i have seen newer expeditions, dodge chargers, chevy impala, chevy malibu, chevy monte carlo, ford taurus. ive seen a few rare ones like a jeep patriot and a ford mustang gt.....do some officers use a POV that is approved by the chief? i know i've heard that if you want to use your personal vehicle and get sirens/lights/strobes installed that you take full responsibility if your car is damaged/stolen, etc.
    Looking for PD Sponsorships within Palm Beach County - if you know any, please contact me asap. Thanks

    Rich B - West Palm Beach, FL

  2. #2
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    Using a POV on a regular basis is a lawsuit waiting to happen. We use Impalas.

  3. #3
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    First, understand that there is a difference between undercover and unmarked.

    Undercover- A normal everyday car with no markings, special license plates, radios, lights, sirens, etc.

    Unmarked- A typical LE vehicle (Impala, CV, Charger, Expedition, etc.) that has a full compliment of radios and sirens but has no exterior markings or lights. Lights are typically interior mounted.

    Unmarked cars are very easily detected, therefore are impractical for an undercover officer that relies on his cover to stay alive and do his job.

  4. #4
    Molon Labe
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    POVs are expressly prohibited for use under our policy.

    You would be more than slightly foolish to use your own car anyway, as your insurance company would drop you like a bad habit as soon as they found out about it.

    As far as undercover cars go, you will see anything and everything being used here......most of our true U/C vehicles are ones that have been seized from various criminal operations.
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

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    Some departments use both foreign and domestic cars. I hope that narrowed it down for you

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    Anything and everything, and then some.
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    We also have a policy against using POVs for law enforcement uses, and the previous police agency I worked with had the same. I belive it's only tv when you see cool detectives driving around in their own Torinos and so forth.

    RDEP said what I was going to say when I stumbled across your question. We don't use "undercover" vehicles because we don't need them. We're not an outwardly investigative agency. However, I previously worked with officers who drove "pimped out" Cadillacs, Impalas, a regular Alero, and a tricked out Mustang. They had nothing police-related other than undercover cops driving them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZLawDawg View Post
    Anything and everything, and then some.
    X-2. No POV's used----EVER!!

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    Why would you want to beat up your own car for work?



    If someone ever said, "Let's use your car."


    I'd be like......"Uhm....hell no!"
    .

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by richb View Post
    ....do some officers use a POV that is approved by the chief? i know i've heard that if you want to use your personal vehicle and get sirens/lights/strobes installed that you take full responsibility if your car is damaged/stolen, etc.
    In AL there is (or was as of 2007) a law allowing a county sheriff to approve what vehicles could have blue lights/sirens. I had a guy in one of my police academies who had lights/siren in his personal pickup, and had it approved by his county sheriff (he worked for a small PD in that county). Of course, he had to remove the police package from his pickup when he was fired prior to completing the academy for cheating on pop quizzes. He was the type of guy you knew something was going to lead to his getting fired, but it was anyone's guess what as to what stupid-@$$ thing he'd do that would finally do him in.

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    I've used my POV with permission from my chief for details, just stuck a magnetic light bar from the station on my truck and go about my day. Not all departments have ample amount of cars with officers going to schools and court.

  12. #12
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    We had concealed lights and sirens in our unmarked cars. If I unplugged the radio mike and put it in the trunk, you could sit in it and never know it was fully equipped.
    I drove a Mercedes Benz 450SEL for a couple of years, we had some Porsches, all seized. We even had an undercover (no lights/siren) 18 wheeler or two. If it had wheels and a motor, we used them.
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  13. #13
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    Anything from unmarked police cars to just about any vehicle on the road, through assest forfeiture. Hell, we just scored a Chevy Top Kick 4500 diesel dually. Should make for a very inconspicuous surveillance vehicle....
    Went to Get a Cold Pop

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    My agency uses just about anything you can think of for undercover vehicles. Certain types of POVs are authorized for LE use.

  15. #15
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    If I was undercover, I'd drive a white Honda Civic. That has got to be the most common car on the road around here and will never stand out.
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    [I like pie.............
    Last edited by Nobody; 09-18-2009 at 05:27 PM.

  17. #17
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    curious...how about unmarked, covert, undercover motors (sportbikes, standards, choppers, etc?)

  18. #18
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    OPSEC!!!!!OPSEC!!!!! Just kidding, our guys use everything. The drug agents usually drive nicer cars, but they obviously don't take their 2009 sedan to buy crack.

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    Halloween I wore a pumpkin pin on my uniform given to me by my Sgt. to wear in front of the kids. That was fun, also had a cruiser passing out candy.

  20. #20
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    Actually, while stuck in Phoenix traffic last year, my friend & I saw an unmarked pickup truck sporting 5 - yes 5 antennas. Suddenly, all kinds of lights came on, he pulled out of line, cut around the corner and was at an accident scene on the intersecting street.

    So, why put all the antenna on, if you want to be covert? Someone is not thinking the problem all the way through.

    It's like the guy in my rural area who drives a black suburban with 4 antennas, red & blue lights in the grill, various police supplier decals on the back window, and oh yes, it sports "POLICE MODEL" factory markings on the side. Kind of like "HEY, look at me, I'm (almost) an undercover cop!"
    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuth View Post
    Actually, while stuck in Phoenix traffic last year, my friend & I saw an unmarked pickup truck sporting 5 - yes 5 antennas. Suddenly, all kinds of lights came on, he pulled out of line, cut around the corner and was at an accident scene on the intersecting street.

    So, why put all the antenna on, if you want to be covert? Someone is not thinking the problem all the way through.

    It's like the guy in my rural area who drives a black suburban with 4 antennas, red & blue lights in the grill, various police supplier decals on the back window, and oh yes, it sports "POLICE MODEL" factory markings on the side. Kind of like "HEY, look at me, I'm (almost) an undercover cop!"
    We use a lot of unmarked cars like that. They're not undercover cars, they're just unmarked for the Lts or traffic enforcement.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    personally, the holy grail for covert cars is a honda odyssey or toyota sienna


    to the OP - there are 4 types of cars:

    1. marked cars - (obvious) markings and lights for visible deterrence / patrol
    2. unmarked cars - set up for police patrol, but no markings or outside lights
    3. covert cars - set up for surveillance, but w/lights+siren for response, chases, or t-stops if needed
    4. undercover cars - no police equipment at all, just "any" car that is owned by the GOV (in some way, shape, or form) and used for law enforcement purposes
    Your definition of unmarked and covert sound the same... I've seen a covert vehicle with a radio only and nothing else.

  24. #24
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    Our covert cars have nothing...officers use their portables.

  25. #25
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    so after reading the replies...then what is up with these idiots on youtube showing their POVs with their lights bought from various police websites? i mean most of them are like fire departments which i still think would be impersonation if you have red or blue lights flashing while driving.

    aren't you allowed to have green, white or amber (orange) lights if you're construction, tow truck or something not pertaining to law enforcement right?
    Looking for PD Sponsorships within Palm Beach County - if you know any, please contact me asap. Thanks

    Rich B - West Palm Beach, FL

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