In 2022, vehicles are like computers on wheels and police cruisers are no exception.

But it wasn’t always that way.

The New Bedford Police Department recently shared a photo of the city’s first motorized prisoner transport, illustrating just how far we’ve come over the years.

A Special Day for New Bedford

“This is very likely the first motorized prisoner transport that the department used,” New Bedford PD said on Facebook.

The incredibly clear photograph depicts several officers in uniform showing off their new ride, a true advancement in technology for that time period.

Lt. Scott Carola gave some insight into the photograph.

"Many of the old pics I’ve been posting come from our crime scene division, so they are dated," he said. "This one, however, has been hanging in the chief's office with nothing written on the back. I’m going to take an educated guess and say it’s around 1930."

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It’s fascinating to look at this photograph through the lens of 2022 because it’s impossible to fully comprehend how monumental this moment was for the department.

I’ll admit that I have become jaded by technological advancements, and almost unamused, but these gentlemen must have been flabbergasted by the thought of pulling up on criminals instead of chasing them down.

The History of the Prisoner Transport

This throwback picture depicts a brand-new, Ford Model T Paddy Wagon, a term that has a controversial history. There is speculation on the true origin of the term “paddy wagon” but many theories equate it to the 1800s when Irish people were the majority of people being arrested in New York after their migration to the States. In the 1900s, when the Ford Model T was introduced, people began calling them paddy wagons. Today, that term is increasingly considered an Irish slur.

We’ve Come A Long Way

While the origin of the term paddy wagon is speculated, one thing was certain: You didn’t want to end up in the back of one, and I think it’s safe to say police cruisers of 2022 are much more comfortable.

But I’m going to do my best of staying out of those, too.

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