Police pursuits are just about a thing of the past. You aren’t going to outrun the radio, you aren’t going to outrun the helicopter, and the cameras that are just about everywhere nowadays will track you better than even the best cop could. Face facts: unless you live in the furthest stretches of BFE, USA, running from the cops isn’t a viable option anymore. They won’t even go after you if they have a good enough description…they’ll instead track you using vehicle identification and, if they know who you are, other means and will sooner or later knock at your door.
But that doesn’t mean that police officers don’t train for performance driving…it’s still a big part of many departments. Whipping around 4,000 pounds or so of cruiser requires skill sets that normal, everyday drivers simply don’t have. Weight transfer? Threshold braking? When was the last time you practiced either? Not likely, unless you’re a race car driver. Today’s officers have some solid choices for cruisers: the Chevrolet Caprice PPV, Ford Police Interceptor and Dodge Charger Pursuit all are exceptionally capable sedans that wouldn’t be shamed if they were put on the racetrack. In the mid 1970s, the crop was much different: AMC Matadors, Ford LTDs, Chevrolet Impalas and the fearsome 440-packing barges from Chrysler Corporation had the guts to run someone down, but cornering was for the brave and braking was just about the last-ditch panic mode. Driving one of those sleds at full capacity required skill, an understanding of what the car would actually do, practice to learn how the cruiser would respond, and enough stones to actually drive them that hard. This video is one of a series made by Motorola for police precincts to use as training aids, and is narrated by Jack Webb, better known to many as SGT. Joe Friday from the television series Dragnet. What sounds better: Friday telling you how to wring the most out of some of the most iconic cruisers made, or watching a Dodge Polara getting tossed around by the scruff in pursuit of a Plymouth ‘Cuda?