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.
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.
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!
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.)
Hat tip to Tomi!