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Policing has been a hot-button issue in America for many years – maybe forever. However, after the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, more Americans’ eyes were open to the long-standing conversation around unfair and predatory policing. Although we know there are undercover police, these new Texas police cars, or ‘ghost’ Chevy Camaros, are ramping up the predatory and downright eerie aspects of modern policing in America. 

a Texas police department is now using these white on white "ghost" Chevy Camaros instead of more traditional undercover police cars.
“Ghost” Camaro | Harris County Sheriff’s Department

Are these ‘ghost’ Camaros actually helpful? 

Texas Police have just started implementing what they are calling ‘Ghost’ Camaros. These are white Chevy Camaros with white police markings. Although seeing the police markings is nearly impossible, especially at speed, these are technically not unmarked cars. 

According to The Drive, the Harris County Sheriff’s Department will be the ones sneaking around in these phantom cop cars. This will undoubtedly help the police fine more speeders, but will it actually make people obey the speed limit? 

On top of the camo police decals, the lighting and siren mechanisms are also hidden so these Texas police ghost Camaros can stay in the shadows. 

Are traffic police helping or just raising money? 

Texas police Camaro following a car on the highway
Texas police ghost car | @bruceallmighty Twitter

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It is a known fact that well-marked police cars are one of the best ways to deter people from speeding. This is such a known thing that many police departments will often park empty cars on the side of the road to get people to slow down. This works. 

How then can unmarked or ghost cars prevent speeding? Well, it seems they don’t, really. The main goal seems to be only to catch speeders and fine them instead of actually stopping speeding. The Drive goes on to suggest that these unmarked or lightly marked police cars do nothing to make our communities safer. Instead, they serve only to make money. 

The other side of undercover or ghost police cars is to breed the fear into drivers that the police can be anywhere whether we see them or not. The argument is this constant fear will keep speeds down. But as most things in our lives prove, the unseen, forgettable fears are often, well, easier to forget. Not to mention the anxiety and mental stress this aims to impart on innocent citizens.

The other argument against these types of secret police cars is that these cars can confuse drivers. The difference between a decommissioned police car and an unmarked cruiser can be quite narrow in some cases. If police cars had to be clearly marked, there would be far fewer instances of people impersonating police. 

Unmarked or ghost police cars do have some value though

In some counties, unmarked police cars are used only to gather intel on wanted or suspected criminal operations. This makes perfect sense for the same reason clearly marked cop cars help deter speeding. Interestingly, this same simple logic isn’t applied across the board in American policing. The narrow value of unmarked police cars is undeniable. The general idea that police should roll around more incognito feels naive at best and maybe downright dishonest. 

The police are meant to be a community resource. This department was created to “protect and serve,” meanwhile, the deeper we look into policing as a whole, in this country, we see a trend of increased aggression, opposition, and fear-mongering, instead of trust, respect, and servitude. The more forthright policing can be, the more effective it is in gaining the trust and cooperation from the community it is meant to serve. 

Pulling stunts like these stealth cars goes against everything the police are meant to represent in our society. So, keep your eyes peeled for ghost police cars, and never hesitate to call the police or another trusted official if you are worried about being pulled over by an unmarked car.