One of the newest vehicles — and arguably the coolest — in the Czech national police force’s fleet can reach top speeds of more than 200 mph and is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But it cost them less than the price of a domestic station wagon.
The car was one of many that police seize from criminals each year, Vincalek said, most of which are sold, with the proceeds covering any damage inflicted by the criminal. The Ferrari was not even the most valuable or rarest among the vehicles seized by police, he added, although it is perhaps the “most luxurious” among the hundreds of seized cars that are transformed into police vehicles.
But it proved to be of good use — among a wide variety of tasks, said Col. Jiri Zly, director of the traffic police service — for chasing stolen vehicles passing through the Czech Republic, patrolling highways and cracking down on illegal street racing, which usually involves high-performance vehicles that regular Czech police cars cannot compete with.
The Ferrari, which was originally red, had about 1,200 miles on it. A similar model from the same year is selling for $275,000 at Ferrari of Newport Beach in California. The cost to police for refitting the vehicle with police markings and equipment, including a camera, radio and speedometer, was about 340,000 Czech koruna, or about $14,000, Vincalek said, noting that was less than the cost of a Skoda Scala station wagon. (More than 800 Skoda Octavia sedans were being used as police cars as of last year, according to the Czech carmaker.)
Czech police officers have, briefly, had the opportunity to drive other fast cars while on the clock: BMW loaned one of its i8 cars, a sleek electric model with butterfly doors, to Czech police, but it crashed after less than a month in the fleet after the officer driving it suffered a medical emergency, according to industry publications.
Other police forces around the world have also introduced more luxurious or speedy vehicles into their fleets. Dubai police, which were already notorious for driving Bugatti supercars, brought an Aston Martin Vantage into their fleet last year. The car had a custom “77” license plate, a reference to James Bond, who famously drove Aston Martins, and the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai government said in a statement.