A photo of a Houston Police Department SUV wrapped as a police car and a taxi cab is causing confusion online as social media users share questions about the”polaxi.”
On March 3, Facebook user Salic Khan posted the photo on her Facebook account saying, “A police car in Houston that is disguised as a cab from the back.” Other social media sites picked up the photo, and it went viral. Some people online thought the uniquely designed police car was a tactic to trick intoxicated people.
“Is this a low-key way to charge suspects for the ride to the station?” one Twitter user joked. Another user said, “I feel like this is entrapment, but I’m no scientist.”
“@houstonpolice is this real?” Nate asked the department’s Twitter account directly on Monday and the department was quick to respond back to his question.
“This vehicle is a part of our ‘Choose Your Ride’ campaign and we take it to events to remind people about the dangers of drinking and driving,” HPD wrote on their Twitter account on Monday. “This vehicle is not used in patrol or as a taxi; Thank you for noticing and helping to spread awareness about intoxicated driving!”
Several other police vehicles have similarly gone viral from police departments across Texas, as well as one in Los Angeles that specifically says “choose your ride” across the bottom of the car, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Heather Leighton is a digital reporter at Chron.com. She considers herself as a Jack(ie) of all trades and covers various topics from entertainment to politics. You can read more of her stories here and follow her on Twitter at @loveheathernoel.