Police Tactics and Equipment
Most police radar in New York is Ka band. The state of the art Stalker Dual ATR is the weapon of choice for New York State Police and most local agencies. The unit is purchased at State Contract price. You may expect a hard mounted Ka band antenna in the front and rear windows. It is a small black soda-can sized cylinder. The ATR can capture you in stationary or moving modes. Interestingly, it can also trap you in a same lane moving mode. K band is also in use, normally by local agencies or Sheriff’s Departments. I haven’t seen live X band in NY for years.
Laser is used, usually on nice days, and only with a good line of sight. Most tickets are written over 500 feet, with a few as far off as 1300 feet, so often they can see you before you see them. The 2x scope on top of most lasers helps. Laser is rarely used during cold or wet weather, as the officer usually parks perpendicular to the road, and shoots out a side window. The shorter distance is handheld…the longer distance is in situations where one car shoots and radios to chase cars. In either case, you can usually see them as Laser requires line of sight-the vast majority of laser hits are on the front license plate.
There have been sightings of unmarked Sport Utility vehicles recently, and one was seen being used as a “hammer” car (speed measure car for a multiple car trap) in Westchester. NYSP may have moved off the “marked cars only” rule. Unmarked cars are a fact of life elsewhere, of course.