A police car (also called a police cruiser, squad car, radio car or radio mobile patrol (RMP) ) is a ground vehicle used by police for transportation during patrols and to enable them to respond to incidents. Typical uses of a police car include transporting officers so they can reach the scene of an incident quickly, transporting and temporarily detaining suspects in the back seats, as a location to use their police radio or laptop or to patrol an area, all while providing a visible deterrent to crime. Some police cars are specially adapted for certain locations (e.g. traffic duty on busy roads) or for certain operations (e.g. to transport police dogs or bomb squads). Police cars typically have rooftop flashing lights, a siren, and emblems or markings indicating that the vehicle is a police car. Some police cars may have reinforced bumpers and alley lights, for illuminating darkened allies.
The first police car was a wagon run by electricity fielded on the streets of Akron, Ohio, in 1899. The first operator of the police patrol wagon was Akron Police officer Louis Mueller, Sr. It could reach 16 mph (26 km/h) and travel 30 mi (48 km) before its battery needed to be recharged. The car was built by city mechanical engineer Frank Loomis. The US$2,400 vehicle was equipped with electric lights, gongs, and a stretcher. The car's first assignment was to pick up a drunken man at the junction of Main and Exchange streets.
Terms for police cars include (police) cruiser, squad car, area car and patrol car. In some places, a police car may also be informally known as a cop car, a black and white, a cherry top, a gumball machine, a jam sandwich or panda car. Depending on the configuration of the emergency lights and livery, a police car may be considered a marked or unmarked unit.
Source: Police car from Wikipedia
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