The actor, who graduated from the police academy prior to embarking on acting, joined the SFPD to coincide with a landmark move in where all non-uniformed detectives were given Nissan LEAFs to drive. This move came about after SFPD Detective Ralph Blagoyevitch conducted a three-week trial of a Nissan LEAF in late 2011.
Driving the LEAF showed Blagoyevitch that the vehicle had attributes that ideally suited police work. “We spend a lot of our time creeping up on people,” explained Blagoyevitch. “You’ve seen the sort of thing I’m talking about in movies. You know, where an undercover cruiser stealthily glides up an alley to surprise the bad guys. That sort of deal. Anyway, we found that the LEAF is perfect in this role because it makes, like, totally no noise at all.”
Blagoyevitch also said the LEAF was perfect for stakeouts as well. “Sometimes we have to sit in the car for hours eating donuts and doing the crosswords, but we can’t turn the engine off because we sometimes have to slam into gear and go in an instant,” said Blagoyevitch. “The LEAF gets around that by not having an engine, and with all that torque, blasting off from a standstill is awesome, too.”
Apparently, Seagal was skeptical about the zero-emissions vehicle at first, but his apprehension soon diminished after a few days of shooting. “It really is the perfect stealth car,” said Seagal. “We pulled a guy over who we suspected of driving under the influence. I got out of the LEAF and approached the suspect. When I got to his car he just looked at me and said, ‘Man, you look like Steven Seagal and that sounds like an electric car… I must be more wasted than I thought.’ Easiest arrest I ever made.”
The LEAF made such a huge impression on Seagal, that he might even consider buying one even though commentators have called the car wimpy. “Yeah, I’ve heard that,” said Seagal. “So go ahead, call me a wimp. See how that ends for you.”
Seagal’s reality show is filming now through August.