Seattle has assigned 11 officers to a new aggressive-driving squad, says the Seattle Times. Since the program started Monday, the squad has given out nearly 200 citations, mostly for speeding. The buzz around the department is about the six new high-speed Dodge Chargers the officers drive. The department is trying out a souped-up police-designated Charger, Chrysler’s reincarnation of the popular “muscle car” from the 1960s and ’70s. The car is equipped with a 5.7-liter V8, with a 340-horsepower engine. The new cars are faster than the current patrol cars – the Ford Crown Victoria.
The department spent just under $5,000 on a marketing campaign that includes billboards and posters that will be hung in community centers and postcards that will be handed out to teens. Sgt. Steve Ameden, who heads the squad, said creation of an aggressive-driving team has been discussed for years. “It seemed like we were getting more calls about road rage over dispatch,” Ameden said. Trooper Jeff Merrill said of the new Charger: “It’s a well-handling, very sleek-looking car that most people don’t recognize as a patrol vehicle. They’re all the rage now for unmarked patrol cars.”