Thursday, March 18, 2010

Car 54, Where Are You?

I was lucky to have grown up when I did, I think. I remember when the stuff being dished out on TV Land as Classic TV was in prime time - when reality TV meant that what was on the tube, in many ways, paralleled what was the status quo in real life. It was a time when much of life was black and white just as the images on ours and most of the neighbors' TV's were. It was a time when officers of the law looked professional and sharp, in real uniforms with ties, before "summer uniforms" with cutesy P.D. baseball caps and "winter uniforms" with wooly hats complete with the police department's logo embroidered on them came into vogue. It was a time when you knew the police were doing their jobs, in your neighborhood, because they drove cars that looked like police cars.

What is with the recent rush for every podunk to outdo its neighboring hamlets with its number of unmarked police cars? I swear I'm seeing more unmarked units on the roads these days than real looking police cars, and even the marked cars are being outfitted with the much less obtrusive LED light bars that give them a low profile, especially when seen in a rear view mirror. I was scootering through Pittston this evening and passed an unmarked car that had a delivery truck pulled over when I felt properly motivated to write this post which I'd been thinking of penning for some time. I wasn't in a good spot to stop to get a photo, though, so I kept on rolling. Only a few miles later this Impala slid out of a parking lot in front of me and I was thrilled as I stopped behind it at the red light at the corner. As if by magic, in yet another nondescript little town, there appeared in my view finder the photo I'd use to accompany this text!

While I can imagine there's some perverse sense of pleasure that Officer Pludinski gets when he sneaks up behind that poor slob who's going 30 in a 25 MPH zone and hits the blue and reds with a touch of the siren to pull him over, and while the municipality's coffers swell just a little bit when the ticket gets paid, I'd much rather a healthy police presence deterring real crime by being obviously on the beat. I want some Crown Victoria's out there that look like the police cars they are because I'd prefer to be spending my tax money on cops who are out there looking like cops instead of sneaking around for the sake of writing a few traffic tickets.

A turn down an alleyway after stopping to check my e-mail on the iPod at the Old Forge McDonald's led me to a dead end where I found this mother-lode of colorful car bumpers. The top of the scooter almost seems to blend into the pile of them.

On the way back to the house I had a hankering for some chocolate. A quick stop at a supermarket in Duryea scored me a Tastykake Chocolate Junior that hit the spot perfectly. I rode about 20 miles after supper enjoying abundant sunshine and a temperature that required only a flannel shirt acting as a light jacket. Happy days are here again!


Sixstring563 said...

Happy Spring!

After several attacks plagued the UD campus back in 2002, My daughter's freshman year college roomate was locked up by the PoPo in Newark, De for WALKING down the sidewalk a little bit tipsy. The 1st cop called for backup, as did the 2nd cop. The straw that finally landed the poor lass in cuffs, was when she asked "Shouldn't at least ONE of you be out trying to catch the rapist?"

bobskoot said...


I have to agree with you, it's more about the money than catching the crooks. Also we have those who use the streets as a formula one race track, slaloming around the cars and passing on the right, changing lanes etc, and where are the unmarked cars when you need one.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Orin said...

The Crown Vic is going to be replaced in 2012 by this:

I rather like the color scheme, though it's unlikely any police department would actually do something like that...

Scootin' Old Skool

Paul said...

re: unmarked cruisers. Couldn't agree more. If that's not a manifest opportunity for entrapment... Just had a relative in Canada lament the lost courtesy of flashing one's high beams when a cruiser is spotted. I added, as others here noted, that the efforts more often now appear to be revenue oriented than public safety. Other Canadians then castigated me, saying I shouldn't be speeding. Missed the whole point, they did. Visible police presence keeps people on better, if not best, behavior. That should be the goal. By the way, love the blog on riding in the W-B valley. Spent a few years in Honesdale, worked a bit in W-B. Wish I'd had a scooter then -- too many fabulous, little seen byways. Living in Los Angeles now, using the scooter to defeat the notorious traffic. It's a joy!