Warner Robins police roll out new vehicles

bpurser@macon.comJuly 31, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Five 2013 Ford Interceptors and six 2013 Dodge Chargers join the police fleet this week.

The 2013 Dodge Chargers are fully equipped with the latest in LED technology, a mobile data terminal and camera system. The cameras are used to capture evidence for prosecution of crime suspects in court, Sgt. Todd Rountree said during a media event Wednesday.

“If there’s any kind of question about the officer’s professionalism -- how he acts -- or if there’s anything that happens in front, a shooting or anything, it’s all captured on tape. If an officer is injured fatally, then it can all be caught on tape for later purposes,” he said.

A videotape is particularly useful for jurors hearing a case, Rountree said.

“Juries want to see it live and see how it happened,” he said.

Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police, said officers had input on what types of vehicles would suit their needs before the cars were purchased.

SWAT commanders and supervisors are expected to drive the Interceptors, which have more room to carry gear, she said. Patrol officers are expected to operate the Chargers, which have extra engine power.

The vehicles replace Ford Crown Victorias, Pugh said.

They are part of a regular fleet rotation and are paid for by revenue generated from a special purpose local option sales tax, she said.

The combined cost of the vehicles was nearly $320,000.

Michael Opitz, 20, a junior at Valdosta State University who’s from Warner Robins, and a friend stopped to look at the vehicles displayed in front of the Warner Robins Law Enforcement Center on Watson Boulevard near Ga. 247.

Opitz, a criminal justice major, is considering a career in law enforcement.

“It’s just interesting,” he said of police work. “It’s a different type of job every day. You never know what to expect.”

He said he liked the new vehicles more than the Crown Victorias.

“They look at lot more aggressive,” Opitz said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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