Why do police use a paddy wagon ?

I’ve seen a lot of paddy wagons on the street tonight. I doubt they’re transporting prisoners on a Sunday night. There aren’t any major events I can think of where the police might expect to make multiple arrests.

It is a 3 day weekend, perhaps the police are running a DUI sting and anticipate multiple arrests?

Maybe one of them was going to pick up someone who has a history of kicking out police car windows.

yeah we are in the middle of silly season here (Australia) and they use every available car on the beat. probably that I reckon…

Because they’re racists!

They use police vans on a Sunday night with a Monday holiday because they expect a large amount of drunken and disorderly folk.

Because the screen test is more effective than in a sedan. :wink:

Your kidding? Your location says Chicago. You really don’t believe there are multiple arrests on a Sunday in a city that big? I’ve been a cop for over 30 years for two different agencies in Milwaukee County. Population wise it’s a mere pittance to Chicago and tons of arrest are made on Sunday nights.

The transport van (AKA “Paddy Wagon”. Nobody around here uses that term, but YMMV) is used to pick up multiple subjects from different areas. A team (2 officers) are assigned to the van and drive around to other officers locations and pick up arrested subjects. Up to 8 can be secured in the van and stay there until the van is full or 2 hours has past. This allows street cops to stay on the street while the van crew transports to the city lock up or county jail for booking. The arresting officer does not have to go there to process an arrested subject. So you see, all 8 subjects usually won’t be from the same arrest site. That probably answers a lot of your question.

The van is also useful when picking up a combative person. It’s difficult to get a fighter into the back of a Crown Vic. It’s much easier to throw him/her into an empty transport van and let them yell, scream, and kick themselves into exhaustion. They can’t hurt anything back there except themselves, and usually after they bang their own head on the floor a couple times the decide it sucks and they stop.

In the Chicago area, IIRC, everyone who gets arrested over the weekend has bond court on Monday morning. So a Sunday night would be a pretty reasonable time to be moving them around. I’m not sure whether MLK day would affect this, though.

In my experience MLK Day had no effect on the volume of violators.

Other than they most likely will not get a bond hearing until Tuesday.

In Chicago, the wagons are officially called squadrols. Informally, you’ll hear ‘wagon’. They are beat numbers x70 and x71 where x is the district. Marked CPD vehicles have a beat tag on the light bar. They may be temporarily reassigned for major events like the Taste or sports events.

Wagons are always 10-4 cars which means there are two officers assigned. Many beats have only one officer per car (10-99) so a request to dispatch for more cops on a scene can be quickly met by sending the wagon. Not all squads have a prisoner cage (Do the Tahoes have cages?) so the wagon is used for transport to the station.

Squardrol are pretty big vehicles and help to begin to disperse an unfriendly crowd on sight, simply through intimidation. The coppers assigned to the wagon are considered able to handle tougher jobs (as in rough&tumble, fights, gang disturbances, domestics) and I don’t think you’ll see a trainee riding along.

When not assigned, wagons do patrol but don’t typically get the parkers and traffic calls so as to keep them available.

Unless somethings changed I believe the only holiday there isn’t a judge in intake court here is Christmas. Other than that there is usually one every day except sundays up until 5pm.
They haven’t had night court here now for a few years.

Because most of the police drove their cruisers to DC to assist with security for the Inauguration?

Those damn Irish are at it again.