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Big Brother Billboard?

Advertisement Selling Not-For-Sale Cop Cars Appear in Two of Halifax's At-Risk Communities

by Miles Howe

Big Brother Billboard?

“No, you won't be able to buy a Ford Interceptor Police Car. It's a police car, not available to the public.” says Maxine, at Ford Canada customer service.

I figured as much, but I had to ask. Which makes the billboards on Gottingen Street, and in Fairview, all the more puzzling.

Emblazoned with the corporate tag-line “Built to Serve and Protect”, the image of two next-generation police vehicles stares down at the residents of two of Halifax's more at-risk communities. While there are no billboards to emblazon in the more affluent South End of Halifax, eliminating the possibility of comparing what kind of product is being pushed where, one must ponder whether this advertisement, selling a product which is not for sale, is meant as some kind of bullying tactic by Ford, or the Halifax Regional Police.

There is no tender for procurement on the books in the HRM for a new fleet of police vehicles. The Interceptor model is not even on the market yet. So, are we being primed for a new police toy purchase? Or are we meant to police ourselves all the more vigorously, with images of this inescapable concept car engrained in our minds? Is this a Public Relations move by the Halifax Police?

The Ford dealership in Dartmouth, the HRM's largest, has no idea who put up the billboards. CBS Outdoors, the owner of the billboard spaces, would not say who purchased the advertisements. Shall we next expect similar advertisements for combat boots, handguns, handcuffs?

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Not HRP's ad

Miles and Halifax Medio Co-op readers,

Halifax Regional Police is in no way associated with these ads. If we had the budget for billboard advertising, I can assure you we would not be promoting a brand of vehicle. We would be promoting public safety and crime prevention messages.

Lauren Leal
Communications Advisor
Halifax Regional Police

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