Detroit police are repurposing some older Ford Crown Victoria’s for use with neighborhood police officers.
It’s a story almost made for a Disney Pixar movie. Thanks to our motoring friends over at Jalopnik, we got word from Michigan Live earlier today (Sept. 2, 2015) that a good number of Ford Crown Victoria’s are being called out of retirement and are finding brand new homes in front of the houses of a few Detroit police officer’s homes who work closely with nearby residents. Known amongst fellow gearheads as the “Panther Platform” since 1979 Ford has produced over 10 million Panther platform cars in the form of Crown Victoria’s, Mercury Grand Marquis’s, and Lincoln Town Cars. A good number of those cars were repurposed for police duty and just four years ago, the last one rolled off the assembly line. Suffice to say, there are a good number of them lying around. And with a lot of our nation’s police force still using them although a few have been mothballed to make room for more modern Chevy Caprices and Ford Explorers, many Panther platforms sit unloved. But not in Detroit.
So far Detroit PD hopes to resurrect about 40 cars to sprinkle around Detroit neighborhoods. And thanks to a few friendly neighborhood businesses like Metrotech Automotive Group, an Auto Body Collision and Paint shop, the work is being done free of charge. We’re sure they get a hefty tax right off at the end of the year and get extra protection for their shop with so many police cars hanging around.
According to one police officer whose been a recipient of these refurbished Crown Victoria’s, he’s reported positive reaction from people around his neighborhood.
"“I’ve been flagged down bout 10 times in the last three months from people just to say, ‘I noticed your car has neighborhood police officer on it.That’s new to Detroit … so I get flagged down and I think it’s a real problem and it’s just people to say, hey, that really makes me feel good. When I drive down the street, kids flag me down and ask me will I stop and play with them.”"
Supposedly these older cop cars will also be outfitted with dashboard cameras. In this day and age, you can never be to careful. Until then, long live the panther platform.