View Full Version : The light bar on a cop car
J off course
08-22-2004, 08:43 PM
I want to describe a police cruiser having it's lights flashing.
What do you call that bar across the top of the car?
Are there better ways of describing a police car's lights are flashing besides that it's lights are flashing?
The car in front of it will have it's emergency lights flashing and I don't want to repeat "lights flashing"
My mind is flashing "confused writer"
08-22-2004, 09:47 PM
The car's emergency blinkers can blink. Cop lights can flash.
08-22-2004, 10:14 PM
They are called light bars. There are also strobes for various uses, esp dash lights. In the old days, Lt Decker put the light on the roof of the detective car. Nowadays, its a strobe. Usually inside the passenger compartment, sometimes in the grill. If you are describing the patrol cars coming into a crime scene, or chasing a bad dude, sound cool and say Code-3. Code-3 being the lights and sirens code.
And please don't say that all shotguns are pump action. They come in single fire break open action (over-under and side by side) as well as semi and full-auto types. Tho most American police departments use pump guns...
08-23-2004, 06:20 AM
All the cops I used to know called them "visibars" because that was the brand-name of the first design:
Origin of the term "visibar" (http://www.fedsig.com/police/On-line_Catalog/Roof_Mount_Warning_Lights/roof_mount_warning_lights.html)
Granted, I haven't spoken to any of my cop-friends in a few years. They may use different terminology now. From that link, it looks like the generic term is the aforementioned "lightbar". Jamison, a DDer who visits chat once in a while, is a cop in the Tampa/St Pete area. Maybe someone in chat can direct him to this thread.
08-23-2004, 11:17 AM
some of the cops I've known, in Minnesota, called it the cherry rack. red lights = cherry name and rack, well you can guess at that one.
08-23-2004, 01:15 PM
Federal Signal is (I'm pretty sure) the largest provider of lightbars to Fire&EMS&Police. They also make dumptrucks.
08-24-2004, 05:42 AM
Yeah, I had a Fireball once upon a time. My dad made me a removable metal shelf I could hook to the dashboard when I needed to mount it. He added a "block" on the driver's side later so it didn't blind me.
Best emergency light I've ever owned. It could take a pounding.
08-25-2004, 05:12 PM
Hello. I work for Tampa Police Dept and we call them light bars..plain and simple. Sure there's different kinds of lights, strobes, spot, take downs, etc, but we just call it a light bar unless I'm not part of the cool crowd that calls it something else. Hope it helped.
PS. I want a semi-auto shotgun..they're real nice but I'm gonna hold out. We're going AR15 in the near future.
08-27-2004, 12:13 PM
Don't know if they still call 'em this, but back in the days when cb (citizen's band) radios were really popular, we called 'em "bubblegum machines". That was the popular trucker lingo then. In fact, I think they even used that reference in Smoky and the Bandit. Ahhh... nostalgia.
Catchya on the flip-side, good buddy.
08-30-2004, 03:10 PM
Check www.copsnwriters.com www.galls.com and The Advice Squad. Streethawk is a common brand of light system. Wig-wag is popular, too. Most PDs use bright strobe light systems that light up around the vehicle. Galls.com sells police/public safety equipment and would be a good source of detailed information. Most PDs and law enforcement units call it "code 3" when you use lights/sirens. I've also heard it called "Kojack lights", "gumballs" and "cherry". BTW: Blue and/or red colors are used most by police.
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