Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Police Car & Community Day

This post is a bit of a throwback.  The pictures were taken probably about 2005 or 2006-- but that's the great thing about Lego: they don't really age.  It was fairly early in the Renaissance of Lego, as Tyler was just beginning his journey and I was rediscovering my love of building.  
There was to be a new police car in town but, using our imaginations, we couldn't just "plop" it in town... it had to be shipping in, of course!

When I was a kid I'd always wanted two police cars that matched.  I had the original police station set and somewhere along the line I was given a stand-alone police car set.  But those cars didn't match.  The one from the police station was decidedly "old school" convertible with embedded headlights and the new one was a more typical-for-the-time sedan.  The only thing that denoted the new one was a police car was the markings on the door and the roof lights.  I'd always liked the overall look of the very old police car, so when Tyler become interested in Lego I rebuilt the old police car immediately as a sedan with matching embedded taillights.  

It looks good-- even with the red hub-capped wheels-- but I decided to push the design a bit farther.  I added a white hood and upgraded the wheels to heavy-duty looking white ones.   I also added a push bar to the front.  It looked VERY good.  You can see the design evolved even more over the years by watching the YouTube video at the bottom of this post.  Then I decided to stretch and make another one that would be nearly identical.  For his part, Tyler was thrilled with this plan.  
So we imagined how the town would take delivery of a new police car.  It's an island community, of course, and since the airplanes are the same width as the cars (in our "vintage" world) that meant a ferry was needed.  So the car was shipped with an accompanying crate that carried all the "police bits" like the light bar and other gear.  Those would be installed by the town garage staff.   

The car would be delivered first, then outfitted with all the police equipment necessary to get it ready for patrol.  Everyone in town would be very excited, naturally, so they'd be eager to see the new car when it arrived.  Those "in the know" would be there to see it fresh off the boat, but the rest of the town residents would have to wait for a public debut about a week later.  It would be a festival for the whole town with lots of other public safety equipment on display-- with the new police car the featured one.
The mayor at the time was the guy with the blue suit jacket top and black pants.  He's here with the police officers to take delivery of the car.  
The tow truck company is using their flatbed truck to carry the shipping crate with the police equipment in it.  You can see it on the truck to the right of the picture.
The new police car is driven back around and behind the workshop so that it can be fully outfitted far away from the curious eyes of the townspeople.  They'll have to wait for the festival.
Once parked back out of sight, the tow truck guys and the town mechanic start unpacking the police equipment.  The letter on the top of the crate is the shipping label.
The lights are installed on the roof along with the siren, while the radio antenna is bolted onto the trunk lid.  The major and police chief stopped by to see the progress.
On the front, a push bar is attached between the lower police lights.  This was the first police vehicle in town to have the new push bars.
Once all the equipment is installed, the police car is ready for duty.  The officers will soon be fighting over who gets to drive the new car!
Next it's time to set up the street for the town festival.  This entire block will be closed to traffic, with a stage built on one end and tables down the middle.
The festival is well under way.  You can see there is a little access road left open behind the stage so VIPs can come and go for their speeches.  The Stuff Mart supplied all the food and the other emergency vehicles are displayed at the far end of the block.
People had to park their personal cars where ever they could.  Pretty sure that white car is parked illegally!
The major takes to the stage for his speech.  Townspeople who couldn't come can watch the festivities on television.
The stage at this time was pretty narrow so it had to be anchored with big plates to the sidewalks on either side.  
The chef from the snack bar has set up a portable foot cart and you can see lots of people showed up.
The TV news truck is parked on a side street and waiting for their next live shot.  If you look carefully you can see another cameraman is behind the new police car.
Townspeople parked anywhere they could-- but I think this white car should get a ticket!
This cameraman has the best view of anyone, right in front of the mayor.
The motorcycle crowd all kind of sits together (yes, I know they have space suit shirts on but this was before we had a space shuttle!)
Another view of the TV reporter waiting for her cameraman to come back before picking up her microphone.
Townspeople at this event were able to see the new style police motorcycles that were slowly replacing the old ones (like in the lower right corner of this picture).  
This jail van is scheduled to be upgraded shortly after this festival.  It would be receiving new light system and heavy duty wheels.  A few years later it would be fully refurbished into the chief's mobile command post.
The TV crews were allowed to park behind the police barriers.  TV news crews get some special access like that sometimes.
Anyone want a hot dog?  Ice cream?
The festival is a great time for citizens to meet up with each other and chat.
Fire truck on display with the chief of that brigade ready to answer questions (he has the blue sleeves).
One of the fire trucks has its ladder extended up high over the crowd.
Police officers still doing some security at the barricades and directing traffic.
TV news vehicles parked on the side street behind the police barriers.
The new police car is getting lots of attention.
Almost the whole town has come to celebrate the new police car.
The workshop in those days was a large L-shaped building with two garages-- but the inside one was parked in by anything in the outside one.
When the parking spaces on the main street were filled up, people started parking on the curbs.
The little hot-rod compact car on the left has been rebuilt so many different ways over the years!
The motorcycle crowd found a little empty sidewalk space to line up their bikes.
The traffic lights in those days were very simple.  You can see one beside the stuff mart... it's red!
The reach on a standard fire truck ladder is about 3 stories.  Any higher than that and the truck is too close to the building to be safe.
The first police car is parked on the left here.  You can see it still has the original wheels on it.  Upgrades would be coming soon to make it just as modern as the new one.
The post office has always been one of my favorite sets!
This fellow is working the generator that's parked off the side of the stage.  It makes all the power for the speakers, microphone, etc.
Another bored policeman who is assigned to watch the barrier even though everyone is already at the festival.
The speakers for the music and speeches are mounted high on a portable tower with flags on it.
Any time there's a big event you need to have medical staff standing by in case someone gets sick or hurt.  This is the doctor in charge of helping people at the festival.
Tables and chairs fill the street!
Just a wide view of the festival from behind the stage.
Ha!  This is the "Google Earth" view of the festival.
The town was so much smaller in those days than it is now.
HEY.... looks like a tractor-trailer truck has parked illegally behind that already illegally parked white car!  One of those policemen manning the barricades should be writing tickets instead.  Gotta pay for that new police car, after all!

Want to learn how to make your own police car?   Watch our Police Cruiser Tutorial.

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