Did you know? The history of the first police car

Did you know the first official police car emerged in Detroit 1909? 

Prior to police cars, police officers were on foot as a means to maintain control and offer peace throughout cities around the United States. As cities began to grow, police would institute the use of horses to cover more ground, yet that wouldn’t be enough as urbanization and technology would continue to emerge. 

It would be in 1909 in the city of Detroit, that Detroit Police Commissioner Frank Croul would begin to think of ways for his police force to respond to a growing city and the needs to keep citizens safe. With that, he would begin to test vehicles that were emerging from the auto boom in the early 1900’s and would spend $350 of his own money to purchase a Packard. This Packard would be the one that would change policing forever.

It would be through his testing of the Packard, that he would deem it to be fit enough to handle the rigors of police duty, and would officially launch the first police car in America. Not only did this change how officers responded to crime and other emergencies, but it would effectively alter how the police would adapt to the ever changing nation as a whole.

In Modern America, all police departments utilize various types of police vehicles, from cruisers and SUV’s that can reach speeds up to 155MPH to specially fitted police vehicles that can shoot out nets to stop run away cars. Yet, all of this evolution and technology can be traced back to Commissioner Croul and his vision of what the future of Policing would be. 


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