Ever seen a police car whizz past and think, those windows are dark; how on earth do they see through them? Me too! It’s a common thought and one I bet most of us have had at some point in our lives.
As most states have laws about how dark window tints can be, we often wonder, does the same apply to the police? Or are they allowed to tint their windows darker? We wonder just how dark they can go, and before we know it, we have spent all day wondering about police car windows.
Well, no more! We are here to find out what percent tint the police use and answer your questions once and for all!
What percent tint do police use?
Unfortunately, there isn’t one straight answer here: the percent tint that police use will vary. It can vary from state to state as well as car to car, meaning there will be lots of different tints used by police forces! Each state has its law about tints in vehicles, and there is a limit on how much you can use. For example, in New Jersey, your windows cannot have less than 35% visibility, meaning your tint must still let in plenty of light and allow you to see.
This number can vary state from state, so be sure to check this in your local area, but police cars are exempt from this. Just like a police car can run through a red light and not get a ticket, they can have their windows (front, side, back, and rear) tinted darker than civilians are allowed to! We will get onto why in a minute, but it’s important to know that they are legally allowed to do this!
While police cars can be tinted darker, there will still be a limit. Unfortunately, as the limit can vary from state to state (and even department to department), it’s hard to answer this! Police officers will still need to see out of the windows while driving, so they can’t be too dark! The vehicle will still need to be safe for use on the road.
The darkness of the tint will also depend on the vehicle. Some cars will have darker tints and transport high-priority subjects or people whose identities need to be protected. They might also have vehicles with darker tints used for surveillance or undercover work too and would be darker than perhaps standard cars police use during patrols.
The frustrating answer to the question is that the percentage will vary from state to state and car to car, but it will usually be darker than the legal requirement!
Why are police cars tinted?
Now that we have looked at the tints police have, you might be wondering why police cars are tinted? Well, these cars are tinted to ensure that the police officers are protected. Not only do tinted windows help reduce the harmful UV rays, but darker windows will protect police officers and passengers.
The tinted windows will mask the identity of police officers, which is vital in high-profile cases. It prevents the officers from being identified, especially if they are in an unidentified car doing undercover work. Here the officers can remain anonymous and relatively free from harm.
In car chases or situations where guns are aimed at police cars, the tinted windows will make it difficult for the shooter to identify anyone and point their gun in the correct location. While it might seem easy to guess or figure out where someone would be sitting in a car, when met with a dark windscreen or rear windshield, it can prove challenging! Tinting these windows allows the officers to be safer when driving.
Tinted windows on the back of a police car also ensure the subject cannot be identified. In high-profile cases or situations where the offender’s identity needs to remain anonymous, tinted windows make it near impossible for anyone passing the car or looking in to identify them. When taking minors into custody or high priority victims, their safety and identity must be protected, and tinted windows allow this to happen!
Tinted windows are also useful in cases where witnesses are taken to safe houses or witness protection programs. Typically this will not be done in a marked police car to ensure they are not followed or don’t draw attention to themselves.
So while it might seem frustrating that you can get in trouble with the police for tinted windows, but they have them themselves, you can see their essential need for tinted windows in police cars!
And just like that, we have reached the end of our tint journey today! As you can see, police cars can be tinted darker than civilian vehicles, offering them better protection and ensuring their identity is masked. At the same time, they undertake priority cases and transport victims.
Yes, it can be frustrating that there are different rules, but as these are people that work to protect us and our streets, I’m sure we can forgive them slightly darker windows!