Home » I’m Not Sure This Is The Place For Such Subtlety: Cold Start

I’m Not Sure This Is The Place For Such Subtlety: Cold Start

Cs Carrboro Fire

See that handsome wine-colored Ford Police Interceptor Utility (I think)? This is a vehicle in service to the Carrboro Fire Department, but from a distance I’m not sure you’d really be able to tell? This may be the most subtle markings I’ve ever seen on a vehicle that’s part of an emergency response organization. Look at it! We have a deep wine/maroon base layer with  deep gold graphics; from a distance, with reflections and shadows, the CARRBORO FIRE part gets almost completely lost! Same for the CAR 1 markings on the front fender. This all just seems like such a strange choice?

Our own Mark Tucker speculated that perhaps this is an arson investigator’s car, and may want to be subtle. Okay, maybe, but in that case couldn’t they just use a completely unmarked car? Wouldn’t that draw even less attention? I’m not buying that theory.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I tend to think it’s more because Carrboro, NC – even though it’s known as the Paris of the Piedmont – is a town with decidedly less resources than Paris, and I bet they had the gold vinyl graphics on hand, and just ended up with that merlot-colored Ford Interceptor vehicle, and just had to go with it. It’s a classy look, don’t get me wrong, but nothing about that screams emergency or get out of my way. It’s more of a look you might use to, I don’t know, escort the philharmonic to their concert venue than rushing to a fire.

I happened to see this because of a huge fire in town, actually. It destroyed a local restaurant/landmark, even!

Also, while getting the link for Ford Interceptors, I noticed this picture of one adapted to K9 service:


Cs Ford K9

Look at the expression on that dog’s face. He doesn’t want to tackle suspects anymore, or sniff for drugs or other contraband. He’s seen enough. He’s too old for this shit, and he just wants out, a nice couch to lie on and a rawhide bone. That’s not so much to ask, is it? There’s a limit to how much human desperation and misery one dog can take, and this fella has hit that limit. He’s at the point of showing his partner a picture of the sailboat he’s going to retire on, which, as movies have taught us, is one of the most dangerous acts a cop can commit.

Also, would it kill Ford to put some padding on the floor of that little chamber?

Anyway, love to hear your thoughts on the subtle fire vehicle! Is it an arson investigator thing?

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10 months ago

Fuck every single one of these “marked” patrol cars. I haven’t even been pulled over by one and they piss me off. Central Texas collectively seems to have completely transitioned to these black/blue/grey/brown/red/silver with same color marking traffic enforcement (read: revenue generating) explorers, and most other patrol cars are following suite. Cops aren’t supposed to be revenue streams/tax collectors for municipalities. Every single patrol car should be brightly marked and visible from a distance, not this hide and seek bullshit. These kind of deceptive tactics are a huge part of what is perpetuating distrust with police, particularly combined with all the other growing tensions.

Rant over.

Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
10 months ago
Reply to  beachbumberry

Fully agree, the point of a marked patrol car is that a citizen in distress can see them from a mile away and run to them, not that a person speeding won’t see them. This clearly shows they’re more interested in “catching” than helping people.

Jim Zavist
Jim Zavist
10 months ago

Most of these are take-home vehicles, so many senior officers are into some subtlety.

10 months ago

What a stretch for content.

10 months ago

A neighboring town has at least 1 ‘marked’ vehicle which is a black Explorer with satin or matte black graphics. I honestly don’t think there is a difference in shade – just gloss.

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