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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Graig Graziosi

Miami Beach police department unveils Rolls-Royce police cruiser: ‘I wish I was making this up’

screengrab/Miami Beach Police Department

Miami Beach police officers have a flashy new accessory that hasn’t won the department many fans.

MBPD announced its new Rolls-Royce Ghost cruiser earlier this month. The luxury car, wrapped in the department's black and white livery, is intended to draw interest at upcoming recruiting events, according to Axios.

The estimated cost of a vehicle of that vintage is around $110,000. The police department unveiled the Rolls-Royce in a flashy advert featuring an idyllic sunset and swaying palms.

Department spokesperson, Christopher Bess, said incorporating the car into recruitment ads was “an innovative and fun way to connect with the consumer market”.

Miami Beach Police Department’s new Rolls-Royce Ghost. The luxury car was loaned to the department by Braman, a local dealership, and will be used for recruitment events (screengrab/Miami Beach Police Department)

The car was loaned to the department by Miami dealership, Braman Motors. The company still owns the vehicle and sponsored the costs of wrapping the car. The dealership will allow the police department to use the vehicle until it decides it wants the car back.

But the announcement of the department’s new wheels was met with swift backlash, with some arguing that the car was a gaudy and inappropriate way to try to attract new recruits.

“Miami Beach Police just unveiled a Rolls Royce cop car, done in collaboration with a dealership to recruit police,” an X user going by Joshua P Hill wrote. “I wish I was making this up.”

"You need to fire whosever idea this was," one X user wrote. Another asked the MBPD if "that's what civil forfeiture is for".

"Doesn’t a Rolls prowl car just further mock the poor?" wrote X user James Archer. "Why not collaborate more with gyms, dojos, rec centers to give more kids a safe place to have fun and blow off some steam? Why do police have to seem like an occupying force? They can be, should be, friends with the people."

Another commenter, before learning the car had been loaned to the city at no cost, gave the MBPD a wishlist of ways they'd have rather seen the money spent.

"I’d rather MBPD auction the car off and have bought extra gear and training the officers need. The money in the rolls Royce could have provided officer safety, instead it’s coming off as hubris," the commenter said.

Another respondent dubbed the car an embarrassment. "This is exactly how you make the Miami Beach Police Department the laughing stock of every department in the United States," the Miami New Times reports.

MBPD is not the only police force to use donated luxury vehicles to grab attention. In 2013, Ed Bolian, an auto enthusiast, allowed the Alpharetta Police Department in Georgia to wrap his Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 and use it in a parade.

While Americans might consider police departments boasting about luxury cruisers to be a bit gauche, that is not the case in Dubai, where the city police proudly displays its fleet of not just one, but 14 super cars.

Dubai's police force has the world record for the fastest police vehicle in service — a Bugatti Veyron that can reach 253mph (407kph), according to CNN.

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