Of all the bad reasons to commit a crime in Seattle, getting to ride in the back of this fully-restored 1970 Plymouth Satellite police car might be at the top of the list. Officer Jim Ritter not only uses the car as a community relations tool; he also cruises it around the Emerald City on active duty. Without air-conditioning or a police computer terminal, the 30-year veteran makes due with a 330hp “Super Commando” 383ci-V8 and a whole lot of cool.
“I'm a working police officer. So when I'm downtown I'm assigned to a squad and I'll respond to calls with my squad mates,” Ritter told Komo News. “They will range from anywhere from assisting motorist to armed robberies to disturbances and this car will go to all of them.”
Ritter’s Satellite, which actually served on the Seattle police fleet in 1970, is part of the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum; a non-profit Ritter founded in 1997. Other cars in the collection include a 1970 Plymouth Fury, 1963 Plymouth Savoy, 1976 Dodge Dart and a 1979 Dodge Aspen.
Working with local car shops and volunteers, Ritter has accumulated 14 vintage police cars. They’ve restored six thus far for the King County Sheriff’s office, Washington State Patrol, and the Seattle Police Department. The remaining eight are being worked on.
To complete the ensemble, when behind the Satellite’s wheel, Ritter wears a vintage 1970’s police uniform.
Whoever’s in charge of SPD public relations should give this guy a medal.