New Woodland PD traffic vehicle signals future of fleet

New Woodland PD traffic vehicle signals future of fleet
Lt. Heath Parsons demonstrates the lights on a new vehicle used for traffic enforcement in Woodland. The vehicle is the newest in the department’s fleet. (Sarah Dowling – Daily Democrat)

Woodlanders who have been pulled over in recent months may have encountered something a little out of the ordinary.

Rather than looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing a standard black-and-white patrol car, drivers may have seen the newest member of the Woodland Police Department’s fleet — a white “slick top” Dodge Charger with “subdued decals.”

This is how Lt. Heath Parsons described vehicle 893, which is assigned to the department’s traffic units and has been on the streets since April. The Charger is replacing vehicle 734, which was a Ford Crown Victoria of a similar design.

Parsons explained that the vehicle is “less conspicuous” than other vehicles in its design, which works out well for traffic stops. These cars are also used to lead parades and other events. “It is a little bit nicer,” for these occasions.

New Woodland PD traffic vehicle signals future of fleet
The newest vehicle in the Woodland Police Department fleet is a Dodge Charger used for traffic enforcement. This “subdued decals” make the vehicle “less conspicuous” during calls, according to Lt. Heath Parsons. (Sarah Dowling – Daily Democrat)

The idea of having a stealthier vehicle for traffic enforcement is not a new one. Law enforcement have been using this method “for a long time,” Parsons explained.

While the Charger is a “standard replacement” for the Crown Victoria, it is also a test case for the Charger. If things go well, the department may begin replacing other patrol vehicles with the same model.

Officers outside the traffic unit are going to be able to try it out, Parsons explained while sitting in the Charger. A second Dodge is set to arrive in the next six months but will have a built-in computer interface. This is different than the vehicles used by WPD, which have a laptop mounted between the driver’s and passenger’s seat. Officers will be able to try the new interface out as well.