While wandering around a media driving event in Thailand, I stopped to admire a parked BMW 5-Series. It was the current generation 5-Series, launched in our market last June 2010. Then I noticed its markings were different, it didn't have the driving event's logo, instead the words "Traffic Police" were plastered on its side.
I could hardly believe it. This was the police car of the Thai version of our PNP Traffic Management Group. Of course I expected the Thai police force to have better cars than we do. If our police force has Toyota Altis units, maybe they would have Camrys. But I didn't expect a current generation, F10 chassis, BMW 523i, currently valued at P5,390,000 in our price guide. It even had emergency lights on the roof and police radio antennas mounted on the trunk.
But that wasn't all. Police cruisers usually have motorcycle escorts right? I don't know what our local boys use, but I don't think I've seen them use these.
I'm not a motorcycle guy and I didn't get a good look at the model, but I vaguely remember seeing the K1200 badge.
These German machines aren't just for show. The Thai policemen driving and riding them know their capabilities and are not hesitant to use them. I saw them drive at speeds I'm pretty sure were beyond the speed limit—if there was a speed limit where we drove. But that was another story.
I don't know how the Thai police were able to procure such fine machines. Someday I hope our local boys can have cars and motorbikes like these too. It doesn't have to be a 5-Series. Maybe a 1-Series or even Subaru STIs. Something they can be proud of and will intimidate criminals somehow. Maybe when they're not busy being forced to purchase second hand helicopters that were valued higher than the brand new price.