When police officers go to work, many of them get behind the wheel of a car rather than sitting at a desk. Police cars are modified with special equipment to help police officers investigate crimes, arrest suspects and protect the public.
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Police forces often field several different types of cars for specialised needs. These can include patrol cars, response cars, traffic cars, canine (K9) cars and unmarked cars. Police cars tend to be modified versions of sedans, vans and sport utility vehicles available to the general public.
Police officers on patrol must be in near-constant communication with headquarters and other officers so cars are equipped with two-way radios. Officers can access important data from the force's central computer network through a portable computer called a mobile data terminal. Suspects in custody are separated from the officer by the suspect transport enclosure.
Police officers can record activity in and near their vehicles with on-board video cameras. They can identify cars with the automatic number plate recognition system. They can track the speed of a vehicle they are pursuing with various speed recognition devices.
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