We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Different Types of Law Enforcement Vehicles?

Leigia Rosales
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Law enforcement agencies are required to respond to a number of different types of situations in a variety of climates and terrains. As a result, law enforcement vehicles come in a wide range of styles, depending on their intended use and function. While the standard pursuit vehicle is what most people think of when they think of law enforcement vehicles, officers may also use motorcycles, paddy wagons, and watercraft, as well as SUVs and unmarked vehicles.

In most jurisdictions, patrol officers typically drive a marked vehicle that has been manufactured to function in high pursuits if necessary. Of all law enforcement vehicles, this is the most common and most easily recognizable. Marked police vehicles are generally equipped with lights and a siren, as well as a built-in computer. Additional modifications frequently include a grill, or metal separation, between the front and back seat for transporting prisoners, as well as removal of the door handles from the back doors. Traditional, marked vehicles are intended to serve as a deterrent to crime, as well as to make standard arrests and transport officers and prisoners.

A paddy wagon is usually a large van that has been modified to transport numerous prisoners at one time. The paddy wagon is often called to the scene of a crime to transport prisoners when the arresting officer is unable to, or when there are numerous prisoners who need transported. The paddy wagon often has a divider down the back to keep males and females separate as well as a divider to keep the prisoners and police officers separated.

Motorcycles, watercraft, and even snow-machines are also frequently found among the arsenal of law enforcement vehicles at a department's disposal. Motorcycles are frequently used to enforce traffic laws or to maintain a police presence in tight spots where a car cannot fit. Many law enforcement agencies have a lake or river within their jurisdiction and, therefore, must have a way to patrol the water. There are even snow-machines used in jurisdictions where colder weather often prevents safe travel.

Within the United States, federal law enforcement agents almost always travel in an unmarked vehicle — generally an SUV. U.S. federal agents frequently travel in teams, making an SUV a practical option. Local law enforcement agencies may also make use of marked SUVs. Unmarked law enforcement vehicles are used as a way to make use of the element of surprise when apprehending a criminal. Although an unmarked vehicle has no exterior markings, it will typically be equipped with lights and a siren and all the other interior accoutrements of a marked vehicle.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Leigia Rosales
By Leigia Rosales
Leigia Rosales is a former attorney turned freelance writer. With a law degree and a background in legal practice, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers. Her ability to understand complex topics and communicate them effectively makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
Leigia Rosales
Leigia Rosales
Leigia Rosales is a former attorney turned freelance writer. With a law degree and a background in legal practice, she...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.