Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

How Long Will It Take Before Photos I Submit Make the Website?

A:

It can take a few weeks to several months. Right now we are running 8 months behind with the photos, however that doesn't mean it will take 8 months to make the site. We try to get everything up within 3 months, but occasionally due to equipment failure we hit a hard backlog of photos. I run this site mostly from the road, so when my laptop goes down, the site more or less goes down. We were actually running less than 4 month lag time then I had repeated hardware failure that required an entire new laptop. I'm working as hard as I can within the confines of my real life to catch this up and back this lag time back to 90 days or less.

Q:

How Large (What Size) Should the Images I Submit Be?

A:

We prefer them as close to "raw" as you can make them. If you must crop you images make sure the photo editing software you are using has the minimum compression set for jpeg files. When these programs are running a high compression to make a 1.5 to 2.1MB camera file a 100k image file they do it by degrading the image resolution. This causes an unacceptable loss in image quality. We have an UNLIMITED SIZE inbox, so size is not an issue. It should also be noted that 99% of cellphone photos WILL NOT be used. There is an occasional exception here to there, but for the most part these images tend be 50k or less are just too small to use.

Q:

Is There a Seniority to Image Addition?

A:

Yes. You might not like it, but the truth is that people who continuously send me photos get priority over someone who might send in an image, tell me about the other six departments in their area and never appear again. Even Senior Level (500 or more images) and Regional Coordinators (1000 or images) will tell you they wait for their own submission to hit the site. Also if you tell me you are going to send me more photos then I will hold back you photos until I get more, which is how the lag time starts to build up. If you are submitted photos from an "event" (ie: Memorial Service, Training Session, Parade, et al) please let us know when you're done so we can begin to sort the images for use.

Q:

When I choose a state I see a list of Counties running down the left hand column, but I can't click on any of them. Why is this???

A:

Very simply put there are no law enforcement vehicles from that county available in the archives at this time. I chose to leave the site this way as it was much easier than creating (Texas for example has 254 counties) a load of pages that say "No Photos Yet -- Back to State's Page".

Q:

I visit this site often. How can I tell what is new without looking through the entire archives?

A:

There are three ways to this

  • There is a flaming yellow "" next to anything that has been updated as of the date in the middle of the main page that explains the total number of photos and departments currently in the archives.
  • You can join the Mailing List. The list will recieve an e-mail whenever the site is updated.
  • You can check the What's New Section. The What's New Page chronicles everything that has ever been done to update the NPCA.

Q:

I have contributed my photographs to other websites, may I contribute them to the archives as well?

A:

Yes. While we would prefer original work, we understand that the number of people who collect law enforcement vehicles is limited in in of itself. But please check with the webmaster of the site you currently submit to, they may have rules governing the multiple posting of photographs. Dave Arnold's Copcar.com is one example that does not allow multiple site postings, he will pull your photos if you contribute them elsewhere. Incidentally, Copcar.com is a fantastic site, especially for those hobbiests who prefer older vehicles, and his forums are a great resource for information and assistance if your restoring an antique squad.

Q:

Can I contribute photos from books, magazines, still video captures, or newspapers?

A:

NO! NO! NO! and NO! We will not knowingly post copyrighted material on this website. If you attempt to submit still video captures, you better be prepared to send me the whole video tape.

Q:

I found some law enforcement vehicle photographs while surfing the web, can I contribute those?

A:

NO! We at the NPCA are not willing to get involved in he/she said he/she said arguements over the ownership of photographs. All photographs are copyrighted property of the original photographer, we use them with the permission of the photographer on this site. Do not submit other people's work and try to take credit for it. I once walked over four miles round trip to take photos of a New Hampshire State Police car, and less than one week later that image had been pirated by someone on a now defunct Yahoo! Group. I take my photography, and subsequent running of this website very seriously. If you are found to be posting the work of another person, you will be banned from posting at the archives.

Q:

What's up with the "National" title, and the ".org" thing?

A:

Well while no one at the archives is directly connected to any government agency at any level, we simply wanted to assert this is an archive of American Law Enforcement, not an international one. As for the ".org" choice, first of all I liked the sound of it "policecararchives.org", it's easy to remember, also the ".com", indicates a commerical site, and the archives defintely do not make any money, let alone turn a profit. You'll note this is a professionally hosted site, with no annoying pop-up ads, or ads of any kind. This site is also dedicated to the brave men and women who put their lives on the lines everyday to "Protect and Serve" all of us.

Q:

Do you really only want only one photo per department?

A:

Absolutely not!! Send as many as you have! A truly serious collector doesn't stop at one picture, they'll go after the unique and interesting pictures such as SWAT, D.A.R.E., Supervisor's and other speciality units (GREAT, Weed and Seed, et al)

Q:

What are the archives view of private security agencies?

A:

This will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Archives Crew. But a good rule of thumb is that unless it is a LAW ENFORCEMENT agency it will not be posted. We have several local malls served by police vehicles unique to the mall, as well as hospitals with internal police departments. Private colleges with legitimate police agencies will also be accepted.

Q:

What are the archives view of colleges/universities?

A:

Simply put we welcome them!! All public colleges and universities (even community colleges!) are requested as they are part of the 18,000+ agencies. Private colleges will be reviewed and posted if it can be determined to be a police agency (aka they have police powers, have traffic enforcement duties, have red & blue lights -- or the regulated police lighting of their state) it will be posted. Also don't forget to check with local & state park services, public housing authorities, public transit authorities, toll roads/bridges/tunnels, public utilities (the Cleveland, OH Public Utilities has it's own Special Police), and government building and installations. But please be very careful at any site where the potential of your being there at this time of increased security may be viewed dimly at best, we do not want anyone be detained, questioned or worse in pursuit of this hobby

Have other questions you think should be on our FAQ Page???

Submit them here

Back to the Main Page

Copyright 2003-2008 policecararchives.org. All Rights Reserved