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Why are Wrightsville Beach police cruisers allowed to have dark tinted windows?

Matt Tomsic

Wrightsville Beach Police Chief John Carey said law enforcement is exempt from the North Carolina window tint law.

Carey said Wrightsville Beach officers tint their windows so they can do show-up identifications. If the officer has the victim of a crime and a suspect, the officer can put the victim in the back of the car and drive past the suspect. The victim can identify the suspect without him or her knowing.

Temperature also plays a role. Carey said the cruisers’ electronic equipment gives off heat, which can cook the interior when combined with the outside temperature. The window tint keeps the interior cooler.

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8 Responses to “ Why are Wrightsville Beach police cruisers allowed to have dark tinted windows?”

  1. On July 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm Mister wrote:

    Of course law enforcement is exempt. Exemptions are always included for law enforcement to violate the same rules and laws they are enforcing.

    I am in emergency services and my vehicle has lots of electronic equipment in it, does that mean I am allowed to have windows tinted beyond the legal limit? I think not. Unfair, as usual.

  2. On July 29, 2010 at 4:55 pm J LANGLEY wrote:



  3. On July 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm Bob wrote:

    The whole reason for the law is so that law enforcement is safe when approaching a vehicle and can see inside the front of the vehicle. There is no reason for them to be required to have the same tint. Also, ANYONE can have all the tint they want to on the back windows, it’s just the front ones that cannot be tinted too dark.

  4. On July 30, 2010 at 1:52 am Jeepster wrote:

    I’m a police officer and I’ll add some additional information on the topic. Law enforcement vehicles are not the only vehicles that are exempt from the window tint law, there are many, including limousines and ambulances, just to name a couple. So “Mister”, if you are in emergency services then you may be allowed to have the tinted windows, but you didn’t clarify what “emergency services” are. If you are a volunteer firefighter driving your own personal car, then no. Trust me I’d like to have the windows in my personal car tinted beyond the legal limit. And to J Langley, just because law enforcement agencies do not tint their windows doesn’t mean they can’t. Whey don’t they all? Mainly because of the cost to do it. When I lived in Florida, the local police officers could have their cruiser windows tinted but they had to pay for it out of their own pocket.

    In addition to the good reasons Chief Carey gives for tinting the windows, there are others, and the biggest would be a safety advantage. Tinted windows would be great for high crime neighborhoods in which an officer needs to observe people, use binoculars, take pictures, write reports, etc. without everyone being able to see exactly where his attention is focused. I’ve been parked in my police cruiser when inviduals sneaked up to throw glass bottles at my car because they could see that my attention was directed at others. So basically, instead of trying to compare your personal car to a government vehicle and thinking about what’s fair or not, I say whatever makes it easier or safter to get the job done, who cares? I’d like to think that while I was at home sleeping comfortably in my bed at night that a police officer should have whatever he needs to do his job and help keep me safe. Just my two cents. Thanks.

  5. On July 30, 2010 at 11:05 am Peter Parker wrote:

    The windows are allowed to be tinted so they can take mid-day naps.

  6. On July 31, 2010 at 7:22 pm J. Dunn wrote:

    I’ve got a better question. Why are Wrightsville Beach police officers more difficult to deal with than any of the counties other law enforcement agencies?

  7. On October 31, 2013 at 8:34 pm j wrote:

    To all the officers here sticking up for this …

  8. On November 1, 2013 at 11:25 am Si Cantwell wrote:

    NOTE: I would have approved this post if it didn’t contain profanity.

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