What’s Inside Those "Special" Police Vehicles?

Have you ever wondered what’s inside those mobile command centers and SWAT vehicles used by police departments? Sure, we’ve all seen the STAR WARS versions that TV cops send to crime scenes, but I’m talking about real-life, where the latest Dr. Who-type gadgetry is stuff real cops only dream of.

This twenty-two foot Freightliner was designed and built by LDV, a company that started out by custom-fitting a vehicle or two in the rear of a Chevrolet dealership.

LDV also designs vehicles for a variety of other uses, such as…

This 40′ crime scene mobile laboratory, complete with a photo lab and the equipment used to digitally enhance fingerprints.



We had one of these sporty vehicles, too.

Our first crime scene command vehicle, a tiny, beat up travel trailer, was quite similar to the one pictured above. We used a K9 van to pull the thing to crime scenes, but no one wanted to set foot in it fearing the bad guys would turn it over with us inside, or worse yet, laugh at us until tears rolled down their cheeks. Ever seen a crackhead laughing uncontrollably? It ain’t pretty.

The van we used for pulling the trailer smelled like wet fur, but the trailer’s odor was far worse. Both vehicles were given to the police department so I sort of figured the people who donated them had a grudge against us. I wonder if it had something to do with the appearance of our police cars…

I’m kidding… (about the car, not the trailer).

* LDV vehicle images by LDV

6 replies
  1. David B. Schlosser
    David B. Schlosser says:

    The jacked-up police car reminds me of living in Flagstaff, on the edge of the Navajo and Hopi reservations. One of the primary problems with moving around on the rez is bad roads/no roads (#1 cause of HS dropouts on the rez: cannot physically get to school). Our EMT crew had an ambulance jacked up like a monster truck – like the chassis on that car, if not higher. A friend visiting from Kansas saw the thing driving down the road and about fell out of the car laughing, until I explained that it’s the real deal – maybe the only way to get to a remote location.

  2. queenofmean
    queenofmean says:

    It looks like there’s more room than I would have thought. I guess that depends on how many bodies you squeeze in at one time.
    Thanks, Lee, for the peek inside.

  3. RhondaL
    RhondaL says:

    What? No silver Hummer, like on CSI:Miami? 😉 (couldn’t resist)

    I’m impressed with how bright the interior of the command center vehicle is. They’ll probably have to dim the lights, though, so there’s no glare on the monitors. But the bright lighting gives us a great view of what’s inside.

    Thanks again, Lee, for taking us behind closed doors.

  4. Perry
    Perry says:

    But where does the sonic screwdriver recharge?
    Seriously, thanks for these pictures. I’ll be using them in a future novel, I’m sure.

  5. Elena
    Elena says:

    I’m sure LDV does a very fine job, but it’s not home until there is a box of Krispy Kremes on the coffee table.

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