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Published June 24 2012

Bismarck police get new 'low-profile' cruiser

BISMARCK — The Bismarck Police Department's newest tool in traffic enforcement blends into the city's streets.

Deputy Chief Dan Donlin told the Bismarck Tribune that the silver 2012 Dodge Charger with gray department markings should help nab traffic offenders who may alter their driving habits when they see a traditional squad car.

Donlin said such "low-profile" squad cars have been used by other law enforcement agencies, such as the Fargo Police Department.

The Bismarck City Commission authorized the department to purchase one new vehicle. A car from the traffic division will be transferred to the patrol division, and the Charger will be used mostly by the department's traffic division.

The car does have the standard "POLICE" license plate and blue and red lights that flash on the interior when someone is pulled over.

Donlin said the department receives more complaints about traffic enforcement — including speeding, running red lights and stop signs and texting while driving — than any other topic. Since the new car won't be easily recognizable, police hope they can blend in a little more and see what happens when they aren't around.

A uniformed officer will drive the vehicle.

"It's not an undercover vehicle," Donlin said.

He said police want people to know about the new car because they hope drivers adjust their habits rather than end up stopped for traffic violations.