You’ve probably seen this photo online and thought how cool it is that the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) uses Subaru’s for patrol duty. The fact is, there’s no evidence to show that they ever actually used these cars on patrol.
The story is that the car actually belonged to someone in CSP’s photo department. The lightbar wasn’t permanently mounted to the car, and the lightbar cable was ran in to the rear passenger window.
Also, the Colorado State Patrol uses their license plate to identify each car:
You can see that the patrol car shown above has CSP (Colorado State Patrol) 582 (car number) on the license plate.
Here’s the Colorado State Patrol Subaru. Note that in the photo above it uses a typical plate, not the CSP plate.
In the photo below, a CSP plate has been added.
If you look at the arrow (above), you can see it appears to be pointing to a cable coming from the lightbar which would typically run through the roof.
So then where did the photo come from at the top of the page? It’s most likely a staged photo for a campaign against street racing.
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Received some emails from Marcus Umstead:
I was the Colorado State Patrol photographer that took the photos of the CSP STi. It was my personal vehicle, and when I bought it, someone mentioned it was the same silver as the recently redesigned patrol vehicles at the time. There was mention that Chevy would stop making the Camaro, and the Chief of the patrol was concerned about what the next top-end pursuit vehicle should be. I suggested the Subaru STi, because it had four doors, could be caged (unlike the Camaro) and therefore enhanced officer safety, got better mileage and outperformed any patrol vehicle previously used on tarmac, dirt, snow and rain. The response was, “True, but ever since Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, I’m against cars made by them.” I pointed out that he hadn’t been born yet on 7Dec1941, but he was firmly against it. However, he did agree that it would make a great promo vehicle for an anti-street-race program he had in mind, and offered to put the graphics on my car for a month if I didn’t mind. I agreed, and the photo in the CSP Garage is one I took when it was just finished being wrapped. You are correct that the lightbar was not mounted through the roof, as I was not willing to permanently damage my car for a promo. It was agreed that so long as the graphics were removed within a month, the paint would be pristine. I had attached the lightbar to the roof on rubber mounts with kayak tiedown straps, and ran the power cable through the rear side window when we used the car in motion, such as at Bandimere Raceway. I took the photo of the street-racing ‘arrest’ on Brighton Blvd with the Denver skyline in the background for a promotional poster. The arresting trooper was a friend named Rob Juchem, whom I believe is still an active trooper. The girl in handcuffs on the ground was my girlfriend at the time, and that was her yellow Eclipse. The man being arrested was a friend of hers, and his red MR2.
My boss, a Major at the time, was very nervous about me driving around in the car while marked like that, citing the possibility that I could be attacked or expected to render aid in some emergency, and start a public relations nightmare, but no such problems ever arose. Often when I was driving around, cars would be speeding by, only to slam on the brakes when they noticed what they thought was a patrol vehicle. I took a lot of other photos, and many people took snapshots here and there, and the rumors began that it was a real police vehicle. A die-cast model company even made a model of my car, almost to perfect detail. (Wrong rims and lightbar on the car, but correct license plate, CSP-007) Also, that lightbar was a prototype lightbar that never ended up being used. It was powered by a battery-jumper pack in the rear floorboard behind my seat.
This was around fall – winter 2003. I bought it new in July and it had very few miles on it.