Surplus Patrol Cars May End Up Driven By Phony Cops


When King County, Wa., sheriff’s vehicles outlive their lives as hard-charging patrol cars, they are driven to a warehouse and don’t leave until they’ve been transformed into respectable sedans, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A mechanic strips the surplus patrol cars and prepares them for auction. Some don’t think the cars are stripped thoroughly enough. In the past week, Washington State troopers have arrested two men, in separate cases, for impersonating police officers. One man was in a 1993 Ford Crown Victoria, with spotlight and push bars, when he tried to get traffic on Interstate 5 to move out of his way.

Though most surplus cop cars end up enjoying a second career as taxis, for some the arrest of the man with the old patrol car is a dangerous indication of how retired police cars are too easily mistaken for the real deal. “It used to bother me that old police cars would get sold, and you had some guys wanting to be policemen driving around in these cars,” retired Kitsap County Sheriff Pat Jones said. “It’s just asking for trouble.”


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