Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Readily-Distinguishable Police Siren

Police sirens currently in use in the USA can be difficult to tell apart from ambulances or fire trucks.
  [vote for,

I submit that the highly distinctive sound of a Doppler-shifted Vietnamese potbellied pig squealing bloody murder would be immediately and unmistakably identified in people's psyche with police officers.
21 Quest, Nov 11 2013

siren sounds http://www.sounddog...44&SubcategoryID=10
[xandram, Nov 12 2013]


       They should also be driving Priuses...
21 Quest, Nov 11 2013

       Maybe this question is reflective of where I live, but why is it important to tell the difference? Whether it's police, fire, or ambulance, the corresponding reaction is always the same: get the hell out of the way!
Alterother, Nov 11 2013

       It's [21]...he wants to know when to pull over and when to take evasive action.
normzone, Nov 11 2013

       Or when he can offer his services former crew chief USAF.
rcarty, Nov 11 2013

       Hmm, out this way (Saitama) all the ambulances have two-tone sirens, so they sound like ice-cream vans. It is a little surreal.
not_morrison_rm, Nov 11 2013

       Norm, I prefer the term 'corrective action'...
21 Quest, Nov 11 2013

       No, that's what the cops do to you, [Quest]. [norm] means the course you take attempting to avoid said fate.
Alterother, Nov 12 2013

       This is surely a flavour post.
calum, Nov 12 2013

       I live in the US and in the past the sirens had sounded alike, but years ago they changed the fire truck's siren to sound more like the British cops in old movies. (well, to me anyway) I think this is the two-tone siren [not_m_rm] is referring to.
I can't find the sound right now, but check out the link.
xandram, Nov 12 2013

       Alter, Norm, this wasn't posted as a response to me getting pulled over. That hasn't happened in a good while. This was posted merely in response to a large number of emergency vehicles screaming down the main drag in Spokane last night. Thought it would be helpful to know when they're on the warpath and check my speed, lights, signals, etc extra carefully. And the thought of a pack of police cruisers squealing down the road in hot pursuit was just too good to pass up.

       Regarding Priuses, that would really help change public opinion toward them. Does every cop really need a V8 Interceptor? We're in a nationwide budget crisis and those things guzzle fuel. High-speed pursuits often cause many accidents, often the fault of the police officers pursuing a fleeing suspect. Have our boys in blue forgotten how to use their radios to setup a roadblock ahead of a fleeing suspect? Do they really HAVE to have the fastest cars on the road to be effective? I think not. Their current sirens and vehicles are designed to make a very intimidating combination and police should not be that intimidating all the time.
21 Quest, Nov 12 2013

       Police sirens should be: "<polite cough> 'scuse me! Coming through! <polite cough> 'scuse me! Coming through! <polite cough> 'scuse me! Coming through!"
hippo, Nov 12 2013

       // Does every cop really need a V8 Interceptor? //

       Hmmm...yes, I think they do. Once the reality of the change set in, I think more people would complain about the cops showing up late to emergencies than they currently do about the cops roaring around in gas guzzlers.

       [Quest], I think siren use varies between services and agencies. Living on a rural highway in a limited-access area, we always know when somebody's shit has hit the proverbial fan simply because EMFRS and law enforcers only have two ways to enter the valley. We've noticed that the Fire & Rescue guys have the same sirens as the cops, but they like to lay on the horn as well; State Police only blip their sirens coming around the curves whilst the CSO run them non-stop (we don't have local police, but the next town up encourages their officers to use the siren conservatively). Game Wardens and CBP are sneaky bastards who don't like to announce their approach. Meanwhile there are six different EMS agencies that service the area, and each of them have different policies on siren use, ranging from daytime-only to wake-up-the-valley. Thus we usually know who's coming long before we see the lights flickering through the trees (unless it's the border cops or the wardens, in which case all we hear is the poorly-tuned roar of a Mazda V8).

       Maybe you could make similar observations and keep a reference table taped to your sun visor.
Alterother, Nov 12 2013

       Perhaps in rural areas an interceptor engine might make a difference in response times, but a Prius can get up to 110 mph if it has to. I've seen cops and other EMS vehicles haul some serious ass responding to a structure fire with entrapments, but I highly doubt they ever exceeded 100 mph to do so.
21 Quest, Nov 12 2013

       Nah it's gotta have a big block in it to take a hit.
rcarty, Nov 12 2013

       [Qwest], I think you're right; the average EMS response time around here is 15 min in the summer (LE can take 20- 30 min) and that's with the pedal on the floor the whole way. Our first responders could probably give pro race drivers a run for their money; in fact, one ambulance driver that I know is also a dirt track driver.

       On the other hand, I imagine that in the close confines of city streets, light and nimble cars have the advantage (though it stands to reason that acceleration would be an important factor, so that's a strike against the Prius). I noticed that in England the highway police drove hopped- up WRXs instead of Crown Vics and Camaros like they have here in Maine.

       So your theory about rural vs. (sub)urban response vehicles holds water under closer examination.
Alterother, Nov 12 2013

       So let's give the sheriffs Chargers (which the Staties and some sheriffs use here), Mustangs (which they use in Florida), and/or Camaros with a lion's roar or wolf's howl siren and city cops the Priuses (Nissan Leaf, perhaps, for better acceleration?) with piggy squeals and grunts.
21 Quest, Nov 12 2013

Alterother, Nov 12 2013


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