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Is it legal to own a PIU?

Discussion in 'Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility PIU' started by GalpinFan1221, July 15, 2017 at 6:22 PM.


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    1. GalpinFan1221

      GalpinFan1221 New Member

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      For the last few years, I have been considering picking one up as a third car for hauling/towing stuff and whatnot. Is it legal to own one in California?
       
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    3. 96firephoenix

      96firephoenix Active Member

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      So long as it isn't the black/white two-tone that CHP (and almost every local LE) uses, or a two-tone sheriff's brown, I think you're ok to drive it on the streets...you might need to have it re-painted to single color before you take ownership though. I think you can leave the roof deviated if there are no numbers on it.

      If you're really concerned, talk to a local lawyer, but the majority of the laws against having former cop cars are about trying to look like you're in an active cop car.

      obviously you can't have any of the PD equipment installed like red/blue lights.
       
    4. Turdle

      Turdle Will cook for gas Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      folks drive used crown vic and chevy ss , dodge ram truck, f150's cop cars around here all the time. some are even still black and white. why would an explorer be different?
       
    5. 96firephoenix

      96firephoenix Active Member

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      Well for the color, it's California, not Kansas. they crack down on the two-tone scheme pretty heavily. This really varies state-to-state... for instance, in Indiana you can't drive a two-tone retired LE car if it was two-tone when you bought it, but there is nothing illegal about buying a one-tone retired LE car, then painting it two-tone.

      As far as an explorer PIU vs. any other retired LE car, it shouldn't be any different.
       
    6. Eltee

      Eltee Elite Explorer

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      27 years of being a copper in California.

      CVC Section 27605
      No person shall own or operate a motor vehicle painted in
      the manner described in Section 40800 to resemble a motor vehicle
      used by a peace officer or traffic officer on duty for the primary
      purpose of enforcing the provisions of Division 10 (commencing with
      Section 20000) or Division 11 (commencing with Section 21000)
      pursuant to Section 40800.


      CVC Section 17604

      When a motor vehicle, painted, as required by Section 40800,
      and formerly used in the enforcement of the provisions of Division
      10 (commencing with Section 20000) or 11 (commencing with Section
      21000), is sold to any person and is used for purposes other than law
      enforcement, the vehicle shall be painted or partially painted by
      the seller or agency formerly using such vehicle so that it will no
      longer resemble a vehicle complying with Section 40800 and any
      insignia or other marking of the vehicle identifying it as a traffic
      law enforcement vehicle shall be removed by the seller or agency
      formerly using such vehicle before it shall be operated on any street
      or highway, other than to have the vehicle moved to be painted or to
      a place of storage.

      I once put a citation on an unmarked department vehicle, big Crown Vic / Interceptor with interior mounted emergency lighting, etc. to mess with my buddy while he was having lunch somewhere. He got me back by going 120 MPH one night in that same vehicle coming back from county jail ... a white knuckle ride.

      So in general if you don't have a black and white vehicle (Best Buy Geek Squad notwithstanding) and don't have a pushbar, auxiliary lighting, an antenna farm, etc. you probably won't draw attention. Back in the days when the Crown VIc / Interceptor ruled, lots of "grannies" drove the Crown Vic Ltd. / Mercury versions. Now, all the soccer moms, etc. drive Explorers so if it's not B&W, pushbar equipped, etc. you'd stay under the radar.

      Just owning a PIU new or auctioned off by a department is perfectly legal ... it's just a vehicle. I looked at a couple before I bought the XLT. I liked the handling, the power, and I could get guys in my department to help me trick it out but I needed the convenience of the 3rd row seats (too lazy to do the conversion to add it in), the big screen with Nav, etc.
       
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    7. Turdle

      Turdle Will cook for gas Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      So, it's ok for cops to drive 120 MPH for fun and not go to jail, but catch me doing it and how much do I have to pay for bail?
       
    8. Eltee

      Eltee Elite Explorer

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      Where did I say it was "for fun" or otherwise suggest it was not an officially condoned run? o_O

      At the time I was the lieutenant and he was a deputy and even though we are friends he was not going to jeopardize his/our careers, etc. "for fun." It was done under safe driving conditions and in the scope and course of duty.
       
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    9. Turdle

      Turdle Will cook for gas Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Right there. Who needs to be driving 120 mph "away from the jail" as a payback for a ticket.
      When should a cop ever drive 120 mph? even in a high speed chase there wold be a limit. what would your mayor say about that?

      c'mon guy. We all know. just don't brag about it to us law abiding citizens, ok?
       
      Last edited: July 17, 2017 at 3:30 PM
    10. Eltee

      Eltee Elite Explorer

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      "When should a cop ever drive 120 mph? "

      When the evading vehicle is doing 110+ MPH and needs to be stopped before getting off the freeway and on to city streets.
       
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    11. 2800seeker

      2800seeker New Member

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      There are many reasons cops drive 120 mph.
       
    12. Eltee

      Eltee Elite Explorer

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      We don't do it often, there are very strict parameters, the risk is high, and the conditions have to be just right. Highway cops may get more opportunities to "engage Ludicrous speed!" (from Spaceballs) but it was an extremely rare occurrence for me. It never have been allowed within the city limits.
       
    13. 2800seeker

      2800seeker New Member

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      I hear ya. Every department has different policies regarding speed.
       
    14. VandyCWG

      VandyCWG New Member

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      Another reason to drive 120+. Running radar on the side of the interstate, vehicle clocked at 100+, it's going to take a bit more than 120+ to get caught up.
       

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