• Apr 22, 2009
Belle Isle Police Chief John Tegg with his new Smart ForTwo Police Cruiser

When your Police Chief is six-feet tall and weighs 280 pounds, you might consider it cruel and unusual punishment to issue him a Smart fortwo as his police cruiser. But that is exactly what the folks in Belle Isle, Florida have done. Heck, if it's good enough for Batman, it's good enough for Belle Isle, right? According to the Orlando Sentinel, Chief John Tegg insists that he's perfectly comfortable once he gets situated inside – at least physically. "One fella told me he's not sure he'd pull over for this little thing," Tegg said. "I said you'd better if you know what's good for you."

The fledgling police department in this small Orange County town claims that this is the first Smart pressed into constabulary duty in America. While we can't verify that claim, the Belle Isle force plans on using the vehicle for patrols. However, with no backseat, Tegg admits there is room for little more than a ticket book, so the good chief will have to call for backup if someone needs to be hauled off to jail. Showing that they at least have a healthy sense of humor about the situation, the squad has issued the car a unit number of "point-five" – as in half a car. We're calling it Smart ForFiveOh, or Smart ForPoPo. Anything else come to mind? We're sure you can come up with something better. Thanks for the tip and pics, David!



[Source: Orlando Sentinel / Photos: phabulousphotos]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 50 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Belle Isle isn't really an island, so how can you believe it's really a police car?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Complete waste of tax payer money. I like the Smart for what it is but I fail to see the practical necessity to use it as a police cruiser. Is there a specific police task that the Smart is uniquely suited? If there is a unique responsibility for this vehicle I am all for it, but I would like to see the justification for the use of funding. I can understand marketing as a unique function of the Smart but I fail to see why a Police Department needs to market itself.

      If this is a green initiative, there are better options that offer fuloe savings and practicality. The Prius, a Fusion Hybrid, a Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid, or an Insight are as fuel efficient (or even more so) while maintaining the practicality and functionality of the average squad car.

      The Smart does look good in its Police costume.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I thought about this some more and read the original article from the Sentinel. I am not sure if the car can not be cost justified but it would be difficult. I can see some value in the low cost, low fuel cost, and PR. I just dont know if there is any marked advantage to a Focus, Fit, Yaris, or Cobalt. All are cheap and get decent MPG (not as good as the Smart's) but they lack the PR impact of the Smart. Is PR of greater importance than a backseat and a larger trunk....maybe. I hope the procurement process took these factors into account and did not simple purchase the Smart as a stunt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        well, he can go cross-golf course and chase those ball-stealers. cant do that in your fusion hybrid.

        course, he'll never get a semi to pull over
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only thing this will be able to chase is a prius. Or a baby stroller.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It could chase a kid on a bicycle... down a hill.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Smart ForThose.... who decide to run from it.

        It's probably an inside joke behind the Chief's back to get him to loose weight.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This has got to be more of a promotional car, where they go to elementary schools and talk about being safe on a school bus and what to do in case of an emergency or what ever they talk about. I have a hard time imagining the cop trying to pull a PIT manoeuver on a ford excursion, or the cop trying to pull over a speeding gixxer, although both of these situations would be funny. I know if a cop tried to pull me over with one of these, and i went past him too fast for him to catch my plate number, i would just gun it and go, get off at the next exit and gun it some more. You can't outrun the radio, but when he doesn't have your plate number and he has no clue where you went, even the backup in the crown vic won't catch you...
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they wanted to save gas, and since they can only write tickets, why not just use motorcycles?
        • 5 Years Ago
        So they don't get wet in a downpour?

        Hmmm, fancy that!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bloke has a point, it rains a lot here especially during the summer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ...So basically you end up with a police car that cannot chase, cannot transport, not enough trunk space to hold the equipments, and the occupants face death/injury if struck by a Camry.

      I guess nothing ever happens in Belle Isle.
        s13hybrid
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have to agree, but if it saves gas aka my tax dollars (although I do not live there) then go right ahead. I see little reason to have tons of crown vics driving around, those should really be used for criminal transport in my opinion. If all the equipment can fit in this, I say why not.

        s13hybrid
        • 5 Years Ago
        Shawn - I totally agree with your statement that there are far better cars out there to save gas, and I am unsure why they have chosen the Smart, but either way it is saving gas.

        Are there any tight city driving in Belle Isle? That is the only reason I would get a Smart over some other more fuel efficient vehicle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        s13hybrid...if they wanted to save on gas, the Fusion Hybrid easily kicks ForTwo's poor performance... Not to mention the Fusion would actually be functional.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Rich

        So we're dimwits just because it's "highly probably" we don't have passports? The US is only bordered by two countries and currently we don't (technically) need a passport to cross either border. Most people are either so far from Mexico or Canada that they wouldn't need to cross the border or they just don't wanna go to either. I fall in both of those for now. Other than that it takes a really big trip to go anywhere that would require a passport, so what's the need?

        I do agree with you that not all cop cars have to be chase cars, but it's a Smart. All the cars you listed at least have four doors so if someone needs to be arrested the police can do so. Notice chase was only one of the four things Shawn listed.

        @ Shawn

        I live less than 20 miles from Belle Isle here at UCF but I've never heard of it, so it's gotta be pretty tiny lol
        • 5 Years Ago
        possible death if struck by a C-Class. We don't know exactly how it would do against a Camry.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bloody 'Eck! What is wrong with everyone.

      I think the Smart ForTwo would be great for law enforcement. I work for a local PD and think it's a great idea. Not necessarily for chasing fast cars or the kind, but for traffic enforcement or code enforcement. My department use Ford Rangers. Why? I think those are a waste of money and space.

      I remember on a recent trip to Europe and seen many of those little buggers. They are quick and nimble.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I hope you know what "bugger" means.
        • 5 Years Ago
        bugger
        Noun
        1. Taboo slang a person or thing considered to be unpleasant or difficult
        2. Slang a humorous or affectionate term for someone: a friendly little bugger
        3. a person who practises buggery
        Verb
        1. Slang to tire; weary
        2. to practice buggery with
        3. to Sodomize
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good for meter maids...who are too fat to walk!
      • 5 Years Ago
      NOT that I believe the smarts should be used for pursuits, but I recall not to long ago (like 2 weeks ago or something) a highspeed car chase in SoCal in which a VERY pissed off chick in a Scion Xb SMMMMOOOKKKKEEED the cops in their Crown Vics. They tried the P.I.T. maneuver on her, but it failed because the wheelbase of the car was too small and she easily piloted out of it, much to their consternation.

      IT
      WAS
      AWESOME
        • 5 Years Ago
        *Not* chasing is certainly safer for the public. (Y'know, like "protect"?) If the driver doesn't respond to flashing lights in front of them, they can be positively identified by other means than continuing to attempt to stop them and hauled off to court later. It's also cheaper, in that there's no damage to either vehicle. This saves on taxes. Plus, if the car was stolen, the owner would be much happier if the criminal wasn't goaded into racing their vehicle around and getting into a crash.

        Then you can reserve the chase to vehicles that are inherently good at it, instead of those stupid looking monster limos.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think there are much better alternatives to the high speed chase anyway. Chasing should be a final resort.
        • 5 Years Ago
        http://www.dpccars.com/car-videos-09/04-16-09page-Scion-XB-police-chase-and-crash.htm

        I believe this is what you're referencing.

        IIRC, an automatic transmission (the car starts to roll forward when she gets out to flip off the cops) xB has a 0-60 somewhere in the 10-12 second range. Those Crown Vics are barely keeping up. I don't think a ForTwo would do much worse.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "One fella told me he's not sure he'd pull over for this little thing," Tegg said. "I said you'd better if you know what's good for you."

      Sounds like police harassment to me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      *sees Mercedes badge shabbily attached to the front*

      *shakes head*
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1 on your observational skills.
      • 5 Years Ago
      any relation to Joe Tegg???
    • Load More Comments