Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rattler Season

KTLA reporter Eric Spillman had a close encounter with a sun-tanning rattlesnake over the weekend. Temps have warmed into the mid-80s a few times in the past week, which means rattlers (and their non-venomous cousins) have emerged from their winter slumbers.

It's always amusing to hear fire crews heading out on early-season brushers reminded on the radio to watch out for the creatures. Probably not as amusing to get bitten by one, which is why the guys wear boots.

H/T to Kevin at LAObserved for the item.

Speed Trap

I like that the LAPD has chosen to run speed enforcement two blocks from my house on a busy stretch of San Vicente Boulevard. Especially when I know it's happening and don't get caught by the Man. But I'd like it even better when the motor officer gets issued his new BMW bike and ditches the ugly-ass Harley that makes the LAPD motor corps look like they're riding up PCH on the weekend for a bite at Neptune's Net.

Here's a great blog post from 2008 detailing various issues with the LAPD's Harley purchase.

But if you're a Harley fan, this video might be worth your while.

In the photo above, the Harley's in the back, the sleek Beemer is up front.

photo: Mayor Sam's Sister City Blog

Friday, March 26, 2010

End of Watch: Robert "RJ" Cottle

Veteran LAPD officer and United States Marine Corps Reservist Robert Cottle was killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Southern Afghanistan on Wednesday. Sgt. Major Cottle, 45 years old, joined the Marines at 18 and and the LAPD in 1993. His various LAPD assignments included Hollywood Vice, Southeast Area, LAPD Dive Team and, most recently, SWAT.

Officer Cottle was the first LAPD officer killed in action while serving as a reservist in the military since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. The LA Times has a decent story here and this is the press release from the LAPD.

RIP and Semper Fi, Officer Cottle.

photo: LAPD

Friday, March 12, 2010

Taurus Rising

It seems that the long, storied run of Ford's Crown Victoria police car is on the wane. The gearheads over at Jalopnik did a nice Friday Feature on police vehicles, leading with this post on the debut of the new Ford Police Interceptor. End of the day, it's a Taurus.

I'm not a car guy, so I won't go into the technicals on this one or the merits vs. any other vehicle. I'll be interested, however, to see which local agencies take delivery of these cars. I assume most PD's who have fleet contracts with Ford will choose to take the new Taurus. Though it definitely provides a good opening for Dodge to increase market share of its Charger squad car.

My thoughts on the Charger have been previously expressed. And they haven't changed. It'll be interesting to see what the LAPD does with its fleet. I've seen less than five marked LAPD Chargers on the road in the past year and tons of new Crown Vics. My guess is that the Taurus will be entering the fleet soon.

photo: Ford