Hum­mer cops free boost

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Paul Gover -

SO, THE po­lice are go­ing to use Hum­mers for a lawen­force­ment crack­down in Mel­bourne. It sounds ter­rific. Sorta 21st cen­tury Wild West, ex­cept that the sher­iff uses a Hum­mer in­stead of a horse and six-gun.

The Hum­mer force has re­ceived a lot of pos­i­tive re­ac­tion, and we are strongly in favour of the po­lice plan, but some things are not as im­pres­sive as they might first look.

For a start, the Hum­mers in po­lice colours are not the same as the ones used by the Amer­i­can mil­i­tary in war zones across the world. The nightly news has run end­less footage of bat­tlee­quipped Humvees (the mil­i­tary name for the Hum­mer) in its re­port­ing of the po­lice move, but it’s a dif­fer­ent de­vice.

The mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle is the Hum­mer H1 and the po­lice will be us­ing the H3, a much dif­fer­ent, and much smaller ve­hi­cle.

From our ex­pe­ri­ence, the Hum­mer H3 will have some se­ri­ous short­com­ings for po­lice work. It is small, not par­tic­u­larly fast, and its only real link to the Iraq action ma­chine is the name and grille.

We also have to ques­tion the winch on the front bumper. . .

Still, the Hum­mer plan is a great pub­lic re­la­tions strat­egy for the po­lice and for GM Pre­mium Brands, the Aus­tralian agent for Hum­mer, Cadil­lac and Saab.

There is no way to buy the sort of pub­lic­ity the law-en­force­ment Hum­mers have snared. But a Hum­mer in po­lice uni­form re­minds us more of prod­uct place­ment in a movie than a gen­uine en­force­ment plan.

New force: Vic­to­ria Po­lice plans to pa­trol Mel­bourne’s streets in Hum­mers.

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