Today’s Headlines

  • The new police car is a little over the top.

    It might seem incongruous for a department that patrols streets often choked with traffic to need such a fast car. Geoffrey P. Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina and a co-author of “Police Pursuit Driving: What We Know” (Police Executive Research Forum, 2000), noted how rare it is for officers in cities to reach high speeds.

    “They don’t seem appropriate as urban police cars,” Dr. Alpert said of the Chargers. “They’re not easy to get in and out of; its difficult to get prisoners in and out of them as well. And the engine, it’s just overkill.” Dr. Alpert said that police pursuits often result in crashes that lead to injury or death for officers and civilians.

    Leonard J. Lesko, the director of the department’s Fleet Services Division, said that the Charger’s top speed raised the eyebrows of a former Princeton University professor who wrote to him to say that by putting the cars on the street, “all you are going to do is kill someone.”

    Maybe they are already planning for a world in which there is a lot less traffic congestion!