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Sheriff Buys A Fleet Of Mustangs

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Sheriff Buys A Fleet Of Mustangs
Sheriff Buys A Fleet Of Mustangs

A sheriff in South Carolina held a splashy press conference on July 1 to reveal the new fleet of Ford Mustangs he purchased for the department. The acquisition follows a practice dating to 1998 of maintaining muscle cars for a special purpose.

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According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the original muscle cars were Chevy Camaros. After that, the law enforcement agency bought Dodge Magnums, then Dodge Challengers, Chevy Camaros again, and now Ford Mustangs.

Instead of being used as regular patrol cars, the 17 Mustangs will be used by the department’s Community Action Team. Officers in that specialized team are assigned a specific region in the county. They establish relationships with members of the community, attend local meetings, and gather information about the needs of people living there.

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Like some other law enforcement agencies, it sounds like Richland County Sheriff’s Department has learned that having community outreach officers drive regular patrol cars doesn’t open as many doors as a cool muscle car.

After all, a lot of people flock when they see an interesting ride, whether or not it’s a marked law enforcement vehicle. That can help warm up a crowd and get them excited that someone from the sheriff’s department is attending an event or meeting, making interactions more lively and friendly.

Community policing has become increasingly popular in recent times. Many have come to realize law enforcement can’t be everywhere at once, so establishing good rapport with members of the community helps with both preventing and solving crimes.

If that means buying over a dozen Ford Mustangs for community policing activities, we don’t see anything wrong with that. After all, we’ve seen unmarked pony cars used to catch speeders, distracted drivers, and so on, so why not for an expanded crime prevention strategy?

Image via Richland County Sheriff’s Department/Facebook

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