A Jacksonville Police Department squad car didn’t fair so well during an impromptu judging at the downtown car show last Saturday, to which the Police Chief says, “wait till next year.”
Jacksonville Police Department Lieutenant Eric Hansell decided to get out from behind his desk Saturday and walk the beat downtown for a while to foster some interaction with the community during the Morton Avenue Misfits late-summer Car Show.
Hansell says the interaction started before he even got his squad car parked.
“I decided after lunch that I would go back up and drive around and just chit chat with people. As I’m driving through, there is a gap where about four or five cars had been parked in the show line but had already left. I rolled my window down and was talking to a guy there and I said ‘I wonder what they would think if I backed my squad car in line there and popped the hood?’ and he kind of chuckled a little bit and said ‘I don’t know, but if you did, I’d take a picture of it.’
So of course I back in and pop the hood and everybody’s kind of chuckling and having a laugh at it. He took a picture of it and ended up texting it to me, and I’m not even sure what his name was. Then I just spent the next hour or so talking and visiting with the public.”
Hansell says he closed the hood of his squad car after the picture was taken and decided to leave it in the spot at the end of the row of show cars while he walked the beat for a while.
During his rounds on the square, Hansell says he ran into a group of judges from the show.
“I said make sure I get a good judge on my car, and they kind of chuckled and kept on going. When I went back to get in the car to leave, they had put a scorecard on the car and basically I didn’t do very well.
In the grand scheme of things a marked and couple year old squad car didn’t place very well compared to all the show cars and the cleanliness of them,”
The Morton Avenue Misfits Car Show Scorecard Hansell found tucked under the windshield wiper of his squad car penalized his score for the paint being dirty, having the hood and trunk closed which meant those areas could not be judged.
The judges did give Officer Hansell some encouragement and pointers for next year including the remakrs of “cool lights”, “add chrome” to the vehicle, and in the overall category to “try harder”.
Hansell says he got a good laugh about the “citation” left on his cruiser, and in line with proper police procedure, he reported his findings to the Police Chief, Adam Mefford.
“I told the Chief about it and he got a chuckle out of it. But he said that next year we would definitely bring our A-game and we will make sure that we have a car worthy of a car show up there in it. So that’s always a good time when you get support from both the Chief and the community like that.”
Hansell says at the end of the day, it was all in good fun. He says since public events have been few and far between this summer, it was good to finally get out and interact with members of the community.
WLDS News will be at the 2021 Downtown Car Show and will provide you with a full report on how the Jacksonville Police Department’s entry fairs when the scores are totaled.