98 4.6L Mustang added to police force

Thanks to Don Lively (Rio Red 98 GT owner) from Santa Rosa for finding this news bit in a local paper:

Rohnert Park adds muscle car to Police force

Oct. 24, 1999

Press Democrat Staff Writer

ROHNERT PARK -- Police have a speedy new weapon to catch traffic cofflaws -- a Ford Mustang GT, dedicated solely to enforcing rules of the road.

Officer Gerald Vincent will target traffic hot spots around the city with his 225 horsepower, white 1998 V8. It rides low and has no rooftop light-bars, allowing it to blend in with traffic.

"So he can sneak up on people or sit in traffic and not be noticed," Lt
Dave Frazer said. "People have really been surprised."

Equipped with front and rear radar antennae, flashing warning lights and red and blue strobe lights, the marked car is a welcome addition to the Rohnert Park squad.

For the past five years, the department has done without a traffic enforcement unit because of a lack of personnel. Officers were assigned traffic patrol on overtime only.

Meanwhile, citizens were becoming increasingly concerned with safety-related traffic problems.

"Nine out of 10 complaints we get from citizens are issues -- people speeding, running red lights, collisions at the major intersections," Frazer said.

With the new car, Vincent will devote his attention to busy intersections such as the Rohnert Park Expressway and Commerce Boulevard and to accident investigations.

The muscle car -- the only one in Sonoma County law enforcement, Frazer said -- has become the envy of other officers and even drivers who've been pulled over by it.

"It's totally cool," said Lt. John Thompson, Vincent's supervisor.

Any prisoners Vincent takes into custody won't get a fun ride to the jail, however. The back seat is too small.


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