So, it's come to this. Some big corporations, including Roger Penske and the Detroit Three, have donated $8 million to the city of Detroit to fund new police cars and ambulances because the city is just that broke.
Because General Motors, Ford and Chrysler each made donations, new police cars — 90% of them are old Crown Vics, there may be a few Impalas left over, and I might have seen a Magnum once — will obviously have to be Caprices, Tauruses and Chargers, which might make Detroit the biggest city with the weirdest mix-up in its fleet.
Here's the thing, though: The design. Detroit Police cars used to be always pretty simple to spot and, years ago, had an iconic logo. The new logo is like Photoshop on overdrive. Can you see me now? Ever park near a nightclub and came back to those tacky, postcard-sized fliers in your windshield? Or seen a pop radio station's obnoxious Suburban wrapped in neon colors with photos of crappy artists? This is apparently the vibe Detroit Police was going for here.
The fine print in this whole $8 million deal (about $1 million of which is going to paint jobs, I'm guessing) is that the city is leasing the vehicles instead of outright purchasing them. That gives me pause because the city couldn't even keep track of leasing its previous generation of cruisers; a TV station's investigation found that the city was paying $600 a month for a 2004 Dodge Intrepid, among other overpaid leases.