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MN Based "Geek Squad" not liked by CHiPs

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  • MN Based "Geek Squad" not liked by CHiPs

    Well folks - since Geek Squad is a Minnesota Based company and by now most have seen the black & white VW Bugs look like (at least here in the Twin Cities)......apparently California Highway Patrol doesn't like it......my question is what fool on the roadway will actually think that a Geek Squad VW Bug is an actual police car??? If people do start thinking that I think it's time to take their license and give'm a bus schedule.

    From the Minneapolis Star Tribune

    "CHiPs are down on Geek Squad's cars
    Chris Serres, Star Tribune
    August 27, 2005

    With their black slacks, starched white shirts and flashy badges, members of the Geek Squad look as if they walked off the set of the 1960s cop show "Dragnet."

    But one law enforcement agency thinks the computer troubleshooting service has carried this police motif too far.

    The California Highway Patrol says the Geek Squad's black-and-white Volkswagen Beetles, dubbed "Geekmobiles," look too much like patrol cars and could present a safety hazard. They're serious; patrol officers ticketed a "geek" in Walnut Creek, Calif., a Bay Area suburb.

    Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens does not agree with that assessment. But to avoid future run-ins with the law, Stephens said he has reluctantly agreed to repaint the doors of all 150 "Geekmobiles" in California to black.

    A safety hazard?Dino VournasAssociated Press"Haven't geeks been picked on enough already?" implored Stephens, who designed the original Geekmobile. "We've always tried to pay homage, through our uniforms and our general demeanor, to law enforcement. And now this. ... It's insulting because it's a complete waste of time."

    Stephens launched the Geek Squad in 1994 as a 24-hour computer support service to businesses and residential customers. Best Buy Co. of Richfield bought the company in 2000 and pumped up the squad by hiring thousands of technicians. The Geek Squad now has 8,500 agents nationwide and plans to add 3,500 more.

    From the beginning, the company patterned itself after a police squad. All Geek Squad staffers refer to themselves as "agents" or, in the case of computer troubleshooters who make house calls, "double agents." Best Buy stores that employ agents are known as "precincts."

    It wasn't until earlier this year that computer technicians began getting pulled over by Highway Patrol officers. Officials said the Volkswagen Beetle's black-and-white color scheme was nearly identical to that of their Ford Crown Victorias.

    "The concern here is that someone sees a black-and-white car in a rearview mirror, dives for the shoulder [of the road] or makes a lane change too quickly, thinking that a police officer is there," said Wayne Ziese, sergeant with the Golden Gate division of the California Highway Patrol.

    Added Lt. Joe Whiteford of the California Highway Patrol's office of public affairs in Sacramento: "If we let Geek Squad mobiles look like cop cars, then another company will want to do it. Before you know it, you'll have black and white all over the place."

    Stephens said he considered this a stretch. Seen from a rearview mirror, a Geekmobile is solid black and does not have lights on its roof like a patrol car, he noted. "I would be concerned about the mental state of anyone who did confuse [a Geekmobile] with a highway patrol car," Stephens said.

    So far, California is the only state that has taken issue with the cars. In Minnesota, it's a moot issue because patrol officers drive maroon sedans and the agency does not care whether regular civilians also have maroon cars.

    "It's interesting that the land of bundled-up Norwegians is more liberal on this issue than California," said Sean McDermott, a public information officer for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, which oversees this state's highway patrol. "The Geek Squad is just fine with us."

    Luke Steiner, a local agent with the Geek Squad, said he was pulled over only once by a Minnesota cop -- in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Maple Grove -- but not because of his car. The officer wanted advice on how he could speed up the hard drive on his home computer.

    "We get people rolling down their windows on highways trying to yell questions at us," Steiner said.

    "The next time the California Highway Patrol has a computer problem," warned Stephens, "we'll remind them about the paint job."


    Geek Squad "Response Vehicle"

  • #2
    Yep, I saw that story on the news last night and just laughed and asked myself the same question.

    Maybe they're are just too many airheads in CA?

    Who knows.

    Somebody in CA needs to relax a little bit.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah - I agree.

      Comment


      • #4
        HAHAHHAHAHA Bus schedule. AHAHAHAHAH.. Now that's funny.

        I read about it and thought it was rediculous. Leave the poor geeks alone.. I think their cars look cool.
        Oh... Oh... I know you di-int!

        Comment


        • #5
          RGB would work if they were graphic artists, but they're computer repair geeks.

          If their "squad" cars were a model closer to a crown vic, like a caprice or impala or something like that I could see where there might be some confusion. But come on... a Bug? Like the guy said, in a rear view mirror, all you see is black, there are no light bars.

          I do see the other side of the coin - you let Best Buy do it and everyone else will whine if they can't do it too but I think if that were going to happen it would have by now.

          I think if they would have left well enough alone, there wouldn't have been any hype at all. They've had those cars painted those colors for almost 11 years now and this is the first time anyone has said anything?

          Maybe they should have just left well enough alone.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow, the People's Republik of Kalifornia does it again

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Sam,

              I noticed that you are the only one from CA that has made it here to comment. I am not sure if there is a law in CA that prevents the B&W paintsceme or not - if not - leave'em alone. As you said you saw a one of their VW Bugs and you said that all of the doors were black - well that's what the artical said GS was going to do just to make CHP and any other CA agency happy.

              Up here in MN where GS got started, not all MN agencies have B&W Squads. Some do, such as New Brighton, Roseville, Columbia Hights, and Blaine. To this day I have yet to here a GS vehicle causing the traffic problems that CHP is claiming that "might" happen.

              Maybe it's because the B&W paint scheme isn't in use everwhere here in MN, maybe we have more common sense, maybe we have better drivers, maybe Batman might not save Robin in time.....who knows.

              Did I think the exact same thing (someone might think it's an actual every day duty patrol car) yes....time I thought that? .0001 seconds - before I started laughing because I though it was so cool.......

              Now if GS was driving around in Crown Vics, Impalas, or any of the numerous SUV's marked for "Special Service Use" then I would be inclinded to agree with the CHP on this.....but it's a VW Bug for god sakes.......you could put one of those in the trunk of a CHP squad.

              No disrespect - but articals like that made me think that all of the illegals have been rounded up, all speeders are in jail, and there is no crime what-so-ever on the streets,roads, highways and by-ways in CA.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would also like to comment on this in the artical.

                Added Lt. Joe Whiteford of the California Highway Patrol's office of public affairs in Sacramento: "If we let Geek Squad mobiles look like cop cars, then another company will want to do it. Before you know it, you'll have black and white all over the place."

                Actually - I don't think this could happen because no other computer tech company would be able to get away with it because the B&W paintscem could be considered a trademark of the company.

                btw here is GS's website........

                http://www.geeksquad.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Let me get this right: In California, it's OK for same-sex marraige, the leading "intellectuals" are Hollywood actors, illegal immigration is out of control, gangs are running rampant, and right now, they are worried about people confusing a Black and White VW bug with a squad car! Hmm.........
                  Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. Barry Goldwater

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Its highly unlikely that anyone would mistake a black and white VW Bug for a patrol car, however if it is allowed for the Geek Squad, whats to keep ACME Security from painting their cars black and white. For that reason alone I can see why they squawked about it.
                    Cowboys in town. Trouble expected.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've seen both paint types at my Lakewood, CA Best Buy. Funny thing about the code though, many OC cars and our LASD citizen patrol cars are all white. Would all white cars then be considered under this code if you live in Irvine? I really don't see how somebody is going to mistake these cars if they see them in the rear view mirror though since you can't see the doors from the rear view mirror and again, they are VW Bugs. If somebody painted their full sized car B/W then maybe, but a Bug. Honestly, it is the most distinctive car shape ever and they are only run as DARE cars by departments.
                      "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                      For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Actually, reading CVC 40800 more closely it seems the departments who run all white cars are out of compliance, LOL!!
                        "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                        For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Samuel
                          Maxx,
                          5. The Geek Squad guys were NOT exercising common sense/good judgment in this case.
                          You mean the company or the individual employee(s)?

                          Also - in order for a vehicle to be used here in MN it has to marked with lettering identifying it as a patrol vehicle - the color of the paint job is mainly an after-thought and to limit what government agency can use - not the motoring public.

                          http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/169/98.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PTI
                            Its highly unlikely that anyone would mistake a black and white VW Bug for a patrol car, however if it is allowed for the Geek Squad, whats to keep ACME Security from painting their cars black and white. For that reason alone I can see why they squawked about it.
                            Well I'm not sure about CA but in MN security company's can't use the black&white paint job

                            Subd. 3. Security guard vehicle. (a) All motor
                            vehicles which are used by security guards in the course of
                            their employment may have any color other than those specified
                            in subdivision 1 for law enforcement vehicles. The identity of
                            the security service shall be displayed on the motor vehicle as
                            required for law enforcement vehicles.
                            Which when you look at Sub. 1 - it eliminates White, Black, Green, Brown, or Maroon.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              True, but I know you've seen the all white OCSD cars, the all white CHP cars and the various dept's in OC who run all white cars like Irvine, Seal Beach, Costa Mesa, ect. I personally like the B/W's but taking the code literally any all white painted car would fall under the code.

                              Originally posted by Samuel
                              The citizen patrol cars are simply community service/volunteer vehicles. They do NOT enforce Divisions 10 or 11.
                              "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                              For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                              Comment

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