For the last couple of days, a police car has been parked in front of my gym. At first, I thought a cop just had the same workout schedule I did. But then, I went in the middle of the day instead of early morning, that same police car was parked in the same spot.
It’s a dummy or ghost car. Police departments will put an extra car around just to look like there are police there. This has been used a lot for high traffic accident areas but now is being used more and more in high crime areas.
If there is a dummy car at some place you go to, there is a good amount of crime. Generally, the car is in response to more than one crime and more than one complaint about crime in the area. Some departments are on top of things and will analyze data from crime stats as they go, but most departments are reactive and will place these units after multiple people have complained about crime happening in that area.
Sometimes it will be one person complaining, but more often than not, it’s a lot of people complaining. With law enforcement (like most things) the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
So if you identify one of these vehicles there has generally been a sizable rise in crime in that area and you should be on the look out. You can bet I didn’t leave anything visible in my truck and kept an eye on different people walking around.