Marked and Unmarked Law Enforcement Vehicles

This debate is not new:  Are unmarked police cars illegal?  Why do departments have unmarked units?  This discourse can be simplified to the following:

  • Marked units are a beacon for people in distress to locate help quickly and easily.
  • Marked units are a deterrent to criminal activities and traffic violations.
  • Unmarked units are used, mostly, for surveillance and covert operations.
  • Unmarked units provide officers the ability to more quickly locate criminals or traffic violators.

Who hates the use of unmarked law enforcement vehicles? Criminals and traffic violators.

Whose rights are more important? Criminals and traffic violators or the innocent victims of those violators? The innocent citizens, of course.  Why should they suffer the losses of crime or from traffic fatalities/injuries?

Adept use of both types of vehicles is important to the department and to the citizens for whom the agency serves.