Why Finnish Police Vans Get Their Own Special Grille Emblems

Illustration for article titled Why Finnish Police Vans Get Their Own Special Grille Emblems
Screenshot: iupoliisi (Instagram)

Law enforcement in Finland has an insignia that looks like a stubby sword with a lion’s head for a hilt. It’s on their uniforms and vehicles, which makes sense. It’s also used as the grille emblem in police vans, replacing “VW” or a Mercedes star, which is unique and mildly interesting.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Why Finnish Police Vans Get Their Own Special Grille Emblems
Screenshot: Ilta Sanomat

A Jalopnik reader sent me an article from Finnish publication Ilta Sanomat the other day, which includes a picture of a Mercedes-Benz Vito rocking this police-specific grille emblem. It seemed like an oddly vain embellishment to put on an otherwise starkly utilitarian-looking vehicle to me, but apparently the real reason the custom emblem came about was so that a new PA loudspeaker could be mounted where the automaker emblem originally went.

Advertisement

Huh.

Sounds like part of a future Jalopnik trivia night question to me!

A little casual research into Finland’s police motor pool reveals that the Pollisi (Police of Finland) has “a fleet of 1,600 vehicles, approximately 500 of them being police vans.” That’s a lot of sword emblems. Maybe it’s got a part number and you can put one on your GTI!

Advertisement

Finnish cops apparently also have “500 station-wagon-type patrol vehicles” and “has access to 100 motorcycles, 90 snowmobiles, and about 90 boats” in case you were wondering.

I have never made it to Finland but I did live in nearby Sweden for a while and I remember the cop cars there being similarly practical. (A lot of vans and wagons.)

Advertisement

Hat tip to Tomi!

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

I have never made it to Finland but I did live in nearby Sweden for a while and I remember the cop cars there being similarly practical. (A lot of vans and wagons.)”

I would say that almost all over Europe police cars are equivalent, lots of hatchbacks / MPVs, estate cars and vans. Here it is mainly Seats for the cars and Mercedes-Benz/Ford for the vans.

A curious thing is that unmarked police cars tend to be smaller hatchbacks, different from the main patrol cars (think 208 or Ibiza). And unmarked cars carrying speed cameras tend to be larger (for example a C4 Picasso is a common unmarked speed camera).