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Police cars are emergency service vehicles used by police. The cars begin to chase the protagonist of each Grand Theft Auto game when they have received either a police head or wanted star. Police cars are known by different names in different games, whilst GTA IV has two models of police cars: The Police Cruiser and Police Patrol. Since GTA III, the majority of police cars in the game have shared the same body design as the Taxi.

2D Universe

Main article: Squad Car

In the first Grand Theft Auto, the police car is known as the "Squad Car". Three variants of the car exist, each appearing in each of game's three cities. In Liberty City, the Squad Car is rounded vehicle with blue-white livery, appearing similar to a 1990's Chevrolet Caprice; the San Andreas/Vice City variants are actually adaptations of the Portsmouth, with the San Andreas version bearing a black-and-white body color design and similar angular body design, and the Vice City rendition being colored blue and white but features a modified body that appears wider and rounded. In the PC version of the game, the police cars (along with the Ambulance and the Fire Truck) will have their radio tuned to Brooklyn Underground FM, unlike all other renditions throughout the series which only have the standard police dispatch radio.

The performance of the Squad Cars are identical in all three cities, and are all essentially the best in the game, with the highest top speed and acceleration among all cars in the game, highly responsive brakes and good grip. While the cars are given a very high export value of $2,000, but the cars cannot be exported, as are other emergency vehicles.

Main article: Copper


Police cars in GTA London 1969 and GTA London 1961 are known as "Coppers".

Main article: Cop Car


In Grand Theft Auto 2, the police car is known as the "Cop Car" and assumes a completely original design, looking like a retro-futuristic squad car with 1940s design cues. Like in the first GTA, it is the fastest car in the game, along with the Meteor, and features responsive cornering and brakes, making it a desirable vehicle to drive. It is also the only car in the game which gives a Cop Bribe when crushed. The police car in GTA 2 was originally green-and-white, along with the SWAT Van, but this combination is never seen in the game, it was changed to a blue-and-white combination.

3D Universe

In all the games of this era, the police car has been known as the "Police", with the exception of Grand Theft Auto Advance and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. In GTA Advance, it is referred to as the "Police Car", and in GTA Vice City Stories, it is called the "VCPD Cruiser".

Throughout all 3D era games, police cars are very fast, with excellent handling, and moderate durability. These stats make it great for drifting. They have two sirens, one default "long-whirl", and the "rotating-weep", triggered by holding the horn button. The player will receive 5 rounds of ammunition for any weapon in the Shotgun slot after entering a Police car.

Grand Theft Auto IIIGTA Liberty City Stories

Main article: Police (vehicle)

The Police Car in these two games resembles a cross between a Chevrolet Caprice and a Ford Crown Victoria.

In GTA III, the Police Car was originally intended to have a blue-and-white stripes livery similar to the 1990s/early 2000s NYPD police cars, however, in the final version, they have standard black and white livery like the Los Angeles Police Department. Also, the original Police Car had a more sleek profile compared to the final which appears more angular/boxy (though hints of the aerodynamic design do remain). The Police Cars in GTA Liberty City Stories feature the stripes livery intended for GTA III cars, albeit in black-and-white rather than blue-and-white.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityGTA Vice City Stories

Main article: Police (vehicle)

In these two games, the design of the vehicle is a combination of the front and rear of the fourth generation Ford LTD and the midsection of the GM-Opel Senator A. Both feature a green and white livery, much like the Miami-Dade Police Department. During development, the vehicle was white with red and blue stripes along each side, resembling squad cars from the Miami Beach Police Department. Despite the differences in textures and paint, the vehicle polygon model is reused from GTA III. In the PC version of GTA Vice City, a rare all-white variant can be found parked at random locations.

Despite the fact that the Police in Vice City has AWD, it lacks the stability of other fast AWD vehicles in the game (namely the Deluxo and Comet). This is due in part to its soft suspension and poor roll resistance as well as to its poor tire traction even at moderate speeds.  As such, the Police is prone to roll over or spin at a moments notice, so it may be best to avoid drastic and abrupt maneuvers while driving it.

The same car was reused in Rockstar's Manhunt games. They only appear as static objects, as driving is not an intended feature in Manhunt. The main difference is that the car has a black and white paintjob instead of a green and white paintjob.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Main article: Police (vehicle)

There are three variations in GTA San Andreas. The Los Santos Police Department and San Fierro Police Department versions have the same build, based on the Premier, with the San Fierro version having slightly higher suspension most likely due to San Fierro's hilly streets with steep inclines (like its real life counterpart, San Francisco), and markings for their respective cities. The Las Venturas Police Department version generally resembles a 1981-1990 Chevrolet Caprice, with the sides and back reminiscent of the 1980-1989 Dodge Diplomat, and the closest civilian car in the game is the Tahoma. All police vehicles feature a standard black and white livery.

The police officers in the countryside employ a large, four-by-four Ranger, based on the Rancher, for pursuit on rough terrain.

According to handling.cfg, the Los Santos police car features a slightly lower suspension than the other two. The Los Santos police car also features perfect 50/50 traction bias, whereas the other two variants have a 2% traction bias to the rear wheels. Lastly, the San Fierro police car has its centre of mass 5 centimetres lower than the other two. In theory, this would make the San Fierro car more stable on inclines and having more manageable body roll, and the Los Santos car more suitable for high speed chasing, with the Las Venturas car being best in straight lines. However the differences are so small it is nearly unnoticeable.

Grand Theft Auto Advance

Main article: Police (vehicle)

LCPD "Police car" in GTA Advance.
(Side View)

The GTA Advance rendition of the Police is designed to bear a likeness to the Police from GTA III, with a generally rounded profile and a black-white paintjob. Unlike other renditions, the car is substantially more speedy, with a top speed matched with the Banshee's. Being a mid-sized car, crushing the Police will only award the player with a base amount of $532.

HD Universe

The HD Universe emulates common real-life modern law enforcement vehicles. The popular Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is represented by the Vapid Police Cruiser, and is used extensively in the HD Universe games. Other in-game variants of police cars exist, like the Merit-based Police Patrol in GTA IV (inspired by the NYPD's use of the Chevrolet Impala 9C1 Police Package), and the Buffalo-based cruiser in TBoGT and GTA V (inspired by the Dodge Charger Police Package).

GTA V emulates the declining usage of the Crown Victoria as a general purpose cruiser, as the Ford Taurus Police Interceptor inspired Police Cruiser takes that role within the LSPD. Classic Police Cruisers will spawn at police stations, however do not normally spawn on patrol or when the player is being pursued. However, the Crown Victoria inspired Sheriff Cruiser is the main patrol vehicle of the Los Santos County Sheriff.

Grand Theft Auto IV

In Grand Theft Auto IV, there are two police cars - the Declasse Merit-based Police Patrol and the Vapid Stanier-based Police Cruiser. Two more police cars, a Buffalo-based Police Cruiser and a high-performance Police Stinger, are available in The Ballad of Gay Tony's multiplayer.

The player can get in any police car and access the police computer while stationary. The computer can be used to access Most Wanted missions, or locate and apprehend nearby criminals. The siren on GTA IV's police cars features four variations. Tapping the horn activates a wail tone, and holding the horn activates either a yelp or hyper siren tone. Holding the horn with the siren turned off sounds the siren's air horn. Despite NPC police officers sometimes sounding the regular horn when in a police vehicle, the player is unable to do so. When exiting a police vehicle with the siren activated, the siren will turn off but the emergency lighting will remain on. The siren will then re-activate when the player enters the vehicle again.

The player can dial 911 to summon the police car by luring them to a false alarm. Stealing the car (while the officer searches for any incidents), will attract a one-star Wanted level. In some places, a police car can be stolen from a parking lot or curbside without incurring a Wanted level.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Main article: Police Patrol

GTA Chinatown Wars (DS).

GTA Chinatown Wars (Tablet).

Police cars in GTA Chinatown Wars are simply dubbed "Police Patrol", the same name for those seen in GTA IV. While having reverted to a black and white panda body colour scheme, the car incorporates GTA IVs police computer for use in vigilante side missions. Although the car is implied to be similar to GTA IV's Declasse-based Police Patrol, pre-rendered depictions of the Police Patrol and the Police Cruiser are used during "busted" sequences in the game.



Grand Theft Auto V

Four types of police cars are seen in GTA V. The first is the Police Cruiser, based on the second-generation Vapid Stanier, along with a Sheriff variant. The second is the Vapid Interceptor, which is also named Police Cruiser in-game, and is the most common vehicle used by the Los Santos Police Department. The third is the Police Buffalo, which is again named Police Cruiser in game. The fourth is the Esperanto-based Police Roadcruiser, which cannot be obtained and is only seen in the Prologue.

Unlike previous games, they are numbered randomly, varying between 00-99. These vehicles has two versions of lightbars: a modern LED lightbar, and an older rotator lightbar. The North Yankton State Patrol Police Roadcruiser uses a second variant, a rotator lightbar that flashes side-by-side only.

Sirens in GTA V are a considerable improvement over the previous games attempts at realistic siren equipment. All police cars are equipped with four siren codes: wail, yelp and hyper, plus an air horn.

Prominent Appearances in Missions

Grand Theft Auto III

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

  • Cop Land - A police car spawns behind the thin wall attached to the loading bay, so the player doesn't need to steal one. Also, some scripted police cars appear in Tommy's way while heading to North Point Mall.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  • The Introduction - Tenpenny and Pulaski's police car appears after they were walking in Los Santos, both entering and driving it away. After, the same car appears twice yet with the C.R.A.S.H crew.
  • In The Beginning - C.R.A.S.H. officers stop the Taxi where Carl is, behind Johnson House, and take him for a ride around Los Santos before throwing him at Ballas territory.
  • Burning Desire - After leaving the place, you can steal Tenpenny's police car to do the mission.
  • Gray Imports - Tenpenny and Pulaski go away in their car after the cutscene.
  • Reuniting the Families - Fourteen police cars chase the group and have to be destroyed by shooting at with an AK-47.
  • The Green Sabre - After all Ballas are killed, three police car finish the clash between them and GSF. Tenpenny later takes Carl to Angel Pine with his own police car and his C.R.A.S.H. mates.
  • 555 We Tip - After CJ calls We Tip, two San Fierro police cars come to the hotel and the agents arrest the DEA man for possessing drugs.
  • Driving School - The Police Car is used in two tests (Pop and Control and PIT Maneuver).
  • Test Drive - Several police cars chase Carl and Cesar after stealing two cars.
  • High Noon - Tenpenny's car is featured again, now during the cutscene in Las Brujas.
  • End of the Line - The cops build a barricade with two police cars in the street where is the SWAT Tank during this mission.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

Locations

Police cars are usually parked in front of police stations and are often locked.

GTA III & GTA Liberty City Stories

GTA Vice City & GTA Vice City Stories

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto V

  • Like all other police cars, they can be found at every police station in Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Can be found on the side of highways with police officers monitoring the speed of vehicles passing by.
  • Seen chasing random cars throughout the state.
  • Dispatched when the player dials 9-1-1 with their in-game phone and choses 'Police'.

Rewards

Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online

Trivia

3D Universe

  • The introductory cutscene of GTA San Andreas features C.R.A.S.H.'s LSPD Car, however the car has the rims from GTA Vice City's police car and Taxi.
  • In GTA III's Police Car features a grille logo similar to the Ford Motor Company.
  • If the player in San Andreas turns on the Ninja Theme cheat, the Police Car will appear with a unique black paint scheme. The player can keep it by simply stealing the car, turning the cheat off, and saving it in their safehouse's garage.
  • In GTA San Andreas, the police car in the parking lot of Las Venturas Police Headquarters is only location that the police car is alarmed. However, the alarm sound is not heard, only the light is flashing, and if the player drives near an officer on the street, one will attract one wanted star.
  • In GTA San Andreas, the Las Venturas police car resembles the Brigham, a vehicle cut from GTA III.
  • The GTA III police car is equipped with a secondary light bar resembling a McDermott High Rise lightbar. In reality, these are used by the NYPD Highway Patrol division.
  • The police cars in the mobile version GTA Liberty City Stories initially lacked the word POLICE on the front and rear, but they were added in a later patch.
  • In GTA Vice City, all of the police cars' license plates read "VCPD 7"
  • In GTA San Andreas, the beta police car makes a brief appearance during the last cutscene in the final mission, End Of The Line. It appears behind Tenpenny's fire truck.
  • A fairly noticeable, yet commonly overlooked and unseen, glitch is present in the police cruiser in Liberty City Stories. When the player achieves a 3 Star Wanted level, the police cruiser exceeds its top speed, being able to catch up to a Cheetah with minimal effort. This is likely only a bug, but it only makes it harder to outrun them.
  • In the mobile version of GTA III, the Police Car's sirens have been replaced with higher fidelity versions of the original sounds.
  • In GTA: Liberty City Stories, if you execute a Unique Stunt Jump while the siren is activated, the sound will be affected by the slow motion. When you touch the ground and return into normal gameplay the siren will still sound like it's in slow motion. If you hold the horn button, or turn off the siren, it will return to normal speed.
  • Parked police cars in GTA San Andreas are always locked.

HD Universe

  • In GTA IV and GTA V, damage to a police car's lightbar will result in the siren itself being damaged as well. The wail tone will play, but will be distorted and will play in random pitches. Holding the horn to activate the yelp or hyper tone has no affect, and the distorted wail will continue to play. Other cars won't pull over if you are driving a police car with a distorted siren.
  • In GTA V, police cars that feature rear window strobes are programmed to alternate. There's a brief moment where both red lights are lit, which is not mirrored on the opposite blue strobe. This is not the case on the Interceptor, which features different flash patterns.
  • In GTA V, there was a glitch that allowed the player to activate a police vehicle's lights without the siren playing. It was patched in a later update.
  • Police vehicles in Los Santos and the surrounding areas are strangely less advanced than their counterparts in Liberty City- All police vehicles in GTA V lack Police Computer models in their interiors, an essential technology for modern policing.

See Also

Each police car in the series

Other police vehicles

Bikes
High-performance
SUVs
Vans
Others

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