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A cop in every cab

Safety and Efficiency
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The idea is to put police officers in taxicabs instead of in police cars. This idea is for cities that have a lot of taxis.

The advantages are numerous.

1. The police officer could look around w/o being distracted by driving at the same time

2. Makes police less visible, but public and other drivers know that any taxicab may or may not have a cop in it watching you.

3. Drivers no longer afraid to go to a "bad neighborhood", or pick up a passenger of worrisome race, because they have a police officer right with them

4. In cities like New York City, where cab drivers are known for recklessness and get into many accidents, a cop in the car would (a) discourage this, and (b) be handy when a fender-bender does occur

5. Reduces total number of cars on the road

6. Prevents taxi drivers scamming tourists, if a police officer is in there at the time.

Of course, there aren't as many police officers as there are taxis, so only a fraction of taxis will have them. The assignment of police to taxis could be random every day, or perhaps cab drivers who have an accident could be assigned a cop for a month.

The rule is, the cab driver goes about his business unless the police officer sees something important and needs to take over the car temporarily. Police cars and taxis are similar shape and performance (at least in NYC), so the cop shouldn't have trouble switching. Sirens may have to be appended to cars; there should be a special key where only police officers can activate them.

Thank you.

phundug, Jun 07 2006

Cabbie from Hell http://www.nypost.c..._leonard_greene.htm
And doing his damndest to get back there, too. [DrCurry, Jun 13 2006]

[link]






       Is this where the gumshoe jumps in next to the cop and says "Follow that cab - and step on it!"
normzone, Jun 07 2006
  

       try training cabbies as cops instead. they could pull down a small bonus, and not be intimidated when going into rough neighborhoods. also allows for there still to be enough cops to patrol on foot.
tcarson, Jun 08 2006
  

       NYPD already uses cabs for undercover cops. But if we put all the police in cabs, who's going to patrol the subways? Sorry, fishbone.
DrCurry, Jun 08 2006
  

       What if the policeman in the cab sees someone speeding on the highway, and wants to pull them over? It will waste the passenger's time. Unless the speeder pays the passenger's taxi fare, it wouldn't be fair.
kewldude471, Jun 08 2006
  

       What [tcarson] said.
kuupuuluu, Jun 08 2006
  

       //Prevents taxi drivers scamming tourists, if a police officer is in there at the time.//   

       Well, here's my story:   

       We were in Mexico City and asked an on-duty police man for directions. He walked around the corner, changed his officer's hat to a cabby hat, and took us to his cab and said, "I'll take you there." I guess we weren't exactly scammed, (at that point) but he was scammin' tourists!
xandram, Jun 08 2006
  

       [DrCurry]: He doesn't suggest putting ALL cops in cabs, just enough that the bad guys have one more thing to worry about.   

       Bun for making it just a little harder for the bad guys.
gardnertoo, Jun 08 2006
  

       This idea would give taxi drivers automatic right-of-way. But they sort of already have it anyway; this would just make it official.
phundug, Jun 08 2006
  

       //or pick up a passenger of worrisome race// If this is meant to mean what I think it is meant to mean then I have an issue with that. An individual is not suspect just because of their race. That is racist.
webfishrune, Jun 08 2006
  

       It's absolutely racist, and it's a severe problem in NYC where I live. For example, some cab drivers (including even some African-American ones) are afraid to pick up African-Americans because they're afraid they are more likely to be muggers or to ask to go to a dangerous neighborhood.   

       It would be no comfort to have a cabbie stop and then realize he probably only stopped because he has a police officer in the car, but at least you (as a Black person) could *get* a cab this way. Other types of cab racisms exist of course. This is an example only.
phundug, Jun 08 2006
  

       gardnertoo: NYC - 40,000 licensed taxi cabs, 35,000 police officers. Given that this idea is entitled "A cop in every cab," you do the math.   

       phundug: many drivers will refuse to go to points outside of Manhattan *whatever* your skin color. In both cases, they are breaking the TLC's rules, and you can report them. Although that still won't get you home in the rain.
DrCurry, Jun 10 2006
  

       According to the TLC's website, [DrCurry], there are approximately 13,000 yellow medallion cabs, which is probably what [phundug] intended by the word "taxicabs." Adding all the other vehicles-for-hire (limos, airport shuttles, etc) would drive the number WAY up I'm sure, but I imagine the yellow deathmobiles is what he had in mind. NYPD's website has an out-of-date number of 39,100 for fiscal year 2002, and that number must surely be higher today. This would mean that if [phundug] were the commish' fewer than a third of the force would have to be deployed in taxis.   

       I think [tcarson] is on to something: deputize the cabbies.
gardnertoo, Jun 12 2006
  

       Odd; it appears you're right about the cabs. Guess you can't trust web statistics. Anyway, it doesn't matter - cabs operate in three shifts (don't know about the police), so you still run out of police to do anything else - 3 x 13,000 = 39,000.   

       And when it comes to deputizing cabbies, please see latest headlines and think again.
DrCurry, Jun 13 2006
  

       I think this would be a really good idea, if the cop split the cab fare.
Ling, Jun 13 2006
  

       of course there would be a fitness test. you can't just go around giving people badges. although i'm not sure how many cabbies would qualify for a badge under normal circumstances.   

       that would reduce the number of patrolled vehicles, but might improve the credibility of the whole shebang.
tcarson, Jun 13 2006
  
      
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