Police/Emergency auto news

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Maine patrolman saves a speeder's life

08/01/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Videos, Police/Emergency

Offier Mike Harrington

If speed kills, then the logical conclusion would be that police pulling over speeders are saving lives. Whether you accept that premise or not, however, one patrolman in Maine actually did save a man's life when he stopped him for breaking the speed limit.

Officer Mike Harrington of the Kennebunk Police Department had stopped one Gavin "Scotty" Falconer for driving over the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit in the coastal town in Maine, when Falconer, 84 years old, collapsed over his steering wheel. Officer Harrington sprung into action, pulled Falconer out of the car and initiated CPR.

Falconer woke up the next day in the hospital with his life restored... and a warning citation for speeding, which Harrington had apparently already started writing before Falconer collapsed. Watch the full story in the video here.

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UK police move to seize mobile phones after all accidents

07/29/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Government/Legal, Police/Emergency, UK

Drivers Face Added Penalties Using Mobile Phones

There's little question that driving while holding your phone is incredibly dangerous. In the UK alone, some 500 people are estimated to be seriously injured or killed each year because of car and truck drivers using their phones behind the wheel - a staggering figure that is leading British authorities to take controversial action.

The UK's Association of Chief Police Officers has issued guidelines to law enforcement officials to confiscate the phones of anyone involved in a traffic accident so that police can determine if they were using their mobile devices when the accident took place. If a driver is found to have been using his or her phone and caused a serious crash, that driver could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.

While the police are determined to crack down on phone use behind the wheel, others are justifiably worried about where the measure could lead. "I am 100-percent against anyone texting while drive," Hugh Bladon of the Alliance of British Drivers said to Visordown, "But I'm worried police could overdo it, just because someone is involved in a minor shunt, surely it shouldn't mean they should lose their phone." Imagine having someone hit your car, then having the police confiscating your phone, leaving you with no way to get home, and you can see what Bladon is on about. Beyond the inconvenience, there's also further privacy concerns - will UK authorities have the right to search the rest of your phone, including emails and text messages?

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Hear this 911 operator delay response, debate caller about 'carjacking' vs. theft

07/04/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Government/Legal, Videos, Police/Emergency

Carjacking video

An emergency dispatcher in DeKalb, GA is under fire following a 911 call from a good Samaritan that had just witnessed a man rip a woman from her car and take off. In the call, the dispatcher proceeded to argue with the man over whether what he'd just witnessed was a carjacking (a type of robbery involving a weapon) or a theft (the lack of a weapon).

By the book, the lack of a weapon indicates that this is a non-violent crime. Despite this technicality, though, the difference between a robbery (which by definition involves a violent aspect) and carjacking is much thinner than the difference between a robbery and a theft (which doesn't involve violence). That makes the police response, or lack thereof, somewhat alarming.

According to the witness, Willie Hubbard, there was roughly a 38-minute wait for the police to arrive, because of how the dispatcher relayed information to the officers.

"So we sat there approximately 38 minutes before the first officer even came. And then when the sergeant came she was explaining to us that it was called to them as a theft not a robbery. And I was like, 'That's crazy,'" Hubbard told WAGA, the local Fox affiliate.

James Conroy, the interim police chief, acknowledged that there was a mistake made somewhere.

"Looking at the call information, it does appear there was a delayed response of somewhere over 30 minutes, which in my opinion is not acceptable in a carjacking case," Conroy told Fox 5. The situation is being investigated by internal affairs.

Scroll down for the news report on the incident from Fox 5.

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FL deputy canned after letting drunken pals heckle public in patrol car

06/24/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Government/Legal, Videos, Police/Emergency

Broward County, FL Police loud-speaker abuse

A police officer took a pair of drunken friends on a cruise through a major bar district and made the spectacularly poor decision of handing over his patrol car's PA mic to one of his intoxicated passengers. The incident happened in the early morning hours in Broward County, FL (did you really think it'd be anywhere else?).

According to the The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, phone calls from concerned passersby who thought the cruiser was stolen began flooding in after the drunken passenger began yelling derogatory remarks over the 2007 Dodge Charger Pursuit's loudspeaker. Local sheriff's deputies were soon on the scene to end the joy ride. Mello was not drunk at the time, but regardless, he was still released from the department following the August 2013 incident, an episode that is now just coming to light. Mello did, however, call off from his shift the following morning a few hours before getting pulled over.

Fallout from that episode led to 33-year-old Deputy Rodrigo Mello losing his job in January with the department that he'd spent nearly 10 years with, but now, the former deputy is attempting to get his job back. "It was stupid as could be and I look back at it now and it's absolutely ridiculous," Mello said in a sworn statement obtained by The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. "It was innocent fun. Now looking back at it, it was the stupidest decision I ever made in my life."

Now, you're probably thinking that there's no way someone could get their job back after such a stunt, right? Well, apparently they might be able to. "It's not a career-ender," Jeff Marano, of the Police Benevolent Association told the Sun-Sentinel. "Did he do something silly? Yeah, but you don't execute a person for that." The Sherriff's Office doesn't seem to be as forgiving, however, with the Sun-Sentinel quoting spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright as saying, "The agency is opposing any attempt by him to be reinstated."

The matter is presently in arbitration. Take a look below for video of one of the phone calls reporting Mello and his friends, and then head into Comments and let us know if you think this former cop deserves his job back.

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Motorcyclist arrested after police matched video with ankle bracelet data [w/video]

06/18/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Videos, Police/Emergency, Motorcycles

Motorcycle Chase

We all make dumb decisions, from time to time. In fact, you might even say it's the best way to learn... sometimes. You make a mistake, see the error of your ways and move on as a better person. However, when you upload proof of a very bad choice to YouTube, things can go very wrong, and it's especially painful when the video eventually leads to a prosecution. That's what reportedly happened to an Illinois motorcycle rider who filmed himself running from the police.

According to Visor Down, Hamza Ali Ben Ali allegedly created a film that shows him speeding on his motorcycle and evading the cops twice in 2012. Bad enough, but then he uploaded it to YouTube. Not surprisingly, he was arrested as the accused perpetrator. In defense, he claimed there was nothing on the video to prove that he was on the motorcycle at the time. However, Ali maybe hadn't thought that defense all the way through.

You see, he had been convicted of earlier crimes and was forced to wear a GPS ankle bracelet. Prosecutors matched up the locations in the video with the monitor's coordinates and were able to place Ali at the scene. According to Visor Down, he was convicted last month of fleeing the police and driving with a suspended license, roughly two years after uploading the film to YouTube. Scroll down to see why recording a dumb decision is an even dumber one.

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Enjoy a look at the World's Fastest Police Fleet in Dubai

06/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Videos, Police/Emergency, Middle East

Dubai Poilce Supercars

Last year, it seemed like nearly every month there was news of an additional hypercar joining the fleet of the Dubai Police. It was shocking enough when the force showed off its Lamborghini Aventador, but the armada kept growing to include even more exotic vehicles like an Aston Martin One-77 and eventually even a Bugatti Veyron. To understand the point of building this assortment of supercars, the crew from Vocativ went behind the scenes with the Dubai Police and into the immaculate warehouse where the cars are kept.

The Veyron and Aventador are just the headline-grabbers. When their Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R are getting short shrift, you know it must have a wild collection. The video is a fascinating look inside the force and gets some insight into why the Dubai Police would spend around $6.5 million to build this collection. It certainly isn't to catch speeders... Scroll down to learn what it's all about.

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Joyrider nearly collides with kids, chased down by cops

06/03/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Trucks/Pickups, Videos, Hyundai, Police/Emergency

Joyriding Hyundai Veloster stopped by a truck

A 14-year-old joyrider was able to outrun police in Utah but couldn't make it around a protective parent in a pickup truck. According to KSTU Fox 13 News in Utah, the thieving youngster's grandfather reported the white Hyundai Veloster missing, and police were already searching for it. As it turns out, his grandson had taken it and was driving like a crazy person. He even sped through a park where children were playing and into a neighborhood (video below).

Eventually, one of the parents at the park had enough. When the Hyundai appeared to be coming back to the park, he hopped into his pickup to stop the out of control teen and put himself in harm's way. After the violent way he was stopped by an oncoming truck, the kid might think twice about stealing any more cars. Bystanders got most of the incident on cell phone videos, including the crash, and you can scroll down to watch them and the news report for a little more backstory.

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Lamborghini donates Huracan to Italian police

05/26/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Euro, Government/Legal, Lamborghini, Police/Emergency, Luxury

A Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 donated to the Italian State Police.

Lamborghini made a big entrance with the Huracán LP 610-4, and now the Italian State Police can, too. The Sant'Agata automaker donated one to Giovanni Law to the replace the Gallardo the authorities have had in service for six years.

It will be used to "sustain security on Italian roads" and is loaded with a Q-Branch worth of features that you won't even find on any Ad Personam options list: a "Proof Video Data System" to track the Lamborghini and the suspects being chased, number plate recognition and tracking and real-time transmission of images to HQ, four sirens, an aerodynamic light bar, a refrigerated trunk for organ storage, a defibrillator and - naturally - a hand-held stop sign.

The Huracán LP 610-4 Polizia should go into service by year's end. There's a press release below so you'll know who to look out for if you turn scofflaw inside the nation-state line.

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Chevy adds Silverado SSV to police vehicle lineup

05/01/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Trucks/Pickups, Government/Legal, Commercial Trucks, Chevrolet, Police/Emergency

Chevrolet Silverado SSV

Chevrolet is set to expand its public safety fleet offerings beyond its not-for-consumer Caprice PPV (although we can buy its close cousin, the Chevy SS) and the Tahoe PPV with this, the Silverado SSV. Destined to challenge the Ram 1500 Special Service, the Silverado comes to market with a spate of upgrades over the civilian model.

As is the case with most police vehicles, the Silverado SSV gets an upgraded alternator and a spare battery to power the lights and ancillaries necessary for policing. There's a new power supply and four upfitter switches in the cabin, as well as a 110-volt outlet. A common key option is also available, so that every Silverado in a fleet can be operated with the same fob.

The Silverado will enter service with the fuzz boasting the same 5.3-liter, EcoTec V8 engine. 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque should provide plenty of thrust in emergency situations, while the beancounters will be pleased by a promised 23 miles per gallon on the highway (two-wheel-drive models only). Four-wheel drive is available, as are a pair of box lengths (six feet, six inches or five feet, eight inches).

Take a look below for the official press release from Chevrolet and watch your six for this big new cruiser, motorists.

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Ford Explorer is America's new favorite police car

03/24/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Crossovers/CUVs, Ford, Earnings/Financials, Police/Emergency

Ford Police Interceptor Utility

There is a new vehicle that you should keep an eye out for when you're going a little too fast down the Interstate. Ford's Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility was the bestselling new law enforcement model in the country last year, and signs show that won't be changing anytime soon.

Ford sold 14,086 Interceptor Utilities in 2013, up 140% from the year before, and 10,897 Interceptor Sedans, up 31%, according to USA Today. Overall, the brand's police sales were up 48 percent, and they were enough to boost the company's law enforcement vehicle market share by 9 points to nearly 50 percent.

The success comes just a few years after it made the decision to finally retire the long-serving Crown Victoria-based cruiser for two more modern vehicles. "We had to reinvent the category," said Chris Terry of Ford Communications to Autoblog. The automaker had to convince police departments that a unibody chassis without a V8 could perform better than a model that had been a law enforcement staple for years.

The keys to the transition have been the Utility's space, performance and standard all-wheel drive. The truck's extra storage space has been welcomed by officers who are being asked to be first responders in many situations, and the EcoBoost version has been the fastest in its class the last three years of testing by the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department. Plus, even in places that don't experience much inclement weather, the added traction from AWD is an advantage.

According to Terry, when Ford introduced the new emergency vehicles, it expected sales to be split roughly 50-50 between the Explorer and Taurus. But at times it "has run as high 70 percent Utility." The company appears to have read the market well. As more law enforcement agencies drop their aging Crown Vics, the Blue Oval has replacements at the ready.

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