Thursday, August 2, 2007

That's a cop, not a soccer mom

Aurora police add station wagon to squad car fleet

July 30, 2007

If you're driving in Aurora and see a station wagon pulling you over, don't be confused.

The first of the Aurora Police Department's new Dodge Magnum squad cars hit the street last week on the city's far East Side.

Police Chief Bill Powell saw the vehicles at a National Police Convention last year and the department ordered three -- the first Dodge cars in the Aurora fleet since the 1970s.

The 2007 Dodge Magnum looks like a sporty station wagon, although it's painted like a regular black-and-white squad car. The extra trunk space will accommodate the huge amount of equipment -- police tape, riot gear, river rescue ropes, evidence cones, first aid gear, fire extinguishers and more -- officers regularly drive around with in their car.

City of Aurora equipment technician Tim Hoehn spent the past three weeks adding lights, onboard computers and other police perks to the car.

The three new squads won't haul prisoners, although they could later be adapted for that use.

For now, they'll serve as sergeants' cars and, if they work well, police might consider adding a few as regular patrol cars.

The Aurora police now have more than 100 marked squad cars and about 125 total vehicles in the fleet, but Powell promises the newest additions are just as effective as the traditional squads -- and still cool.

"You would never catch me in a station wagon," Powell, a self-proclaimed "car geek," said, "but I would buy this car. This is a cool car."

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