Daily News reporter Scott DeSmit profiles the city police department's new patrol cars in an article on today's front page. His take: they're all about "keeping a low profile." That means no flashy lights on the roof. Why? Officers hope the bare car top will "allow them to blend in more with traffic in an effort to catch violators."
"People engaged in criminal activity or violating traffic laws tend to scan traffic looking for that light bar," Officer Wayne Fenton said. "Taking the light bar away allows the car to blend in with the rest of traffic."
Except, of course, for the flashy lettering and block-letter 'POLICE' decal on the side of the car. For catching drivers who only get that cursory glance over traffic, I suppose it could help fight the speeders on residential streets. The $23,000 cars do come with lights, it should be noted: strobes.
Of course, no slick, pseudo-undercover makeover is going to make a cop's life any easier.
Take their stroll through the junior rapids of Tonawanda Creek this morning in pursuit of an alleged shoplifter. Just shy of 9:00am this morning, police responded to a larceny call at the Sugar Creek Store on West Main Street. On scene, Scott DeSmit tells us, one of the officers "shagged the man from a grove of trees behind the store"—fantastic description. The man then ran into the muddy, burbling Tonawanda Creek. Lt. Eugene Jankowski said the man nearly drowned! But they picked him up and brought him down to headquarters for processing.
What was he accused of stealing? Two beers.
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