The State Police is rolling out "stealth" patrol cars. With oficial markings on only one side, the cars can hide out more easily in traffic so troopers can catch drivers who follow too close and otherwise operate recklessly.
(LITTLE ROCK) - Three Arkansas State Police vehicles are being placed into service as roving stealth patrol cars. The cars are unique in that only the right side front quarter panel and passenger door exhibit the familiar Arkansas State Police star and markings.
"We believe a valuable enforcement tool, one that has the potential to save lives, is being provided to the troopers who patrol interstate and controlled access highways," said Major Les Braunns, commander of the department's Highway Patrol Division, western region. "From a rearview mirror or looking ahead into traffic a driver isn't as quickly alerted to the presence of a state trooper embedded within the flow of traffic."
Stealth patrols are typically dedicated to spotting hazardous and unsafe vehicle operations by drivers traveling in congested divided highway environments. The predominate traffic charges written by troopers operating a stealth patrol vehicle include, Following Too Close, Careless and Prohibited Driving, and Reckless Driving.
"There are prescribed procedures we expect the troopers to use when operating the stealth patrol cars," said Major Ed Wolfe, commander of the department's Highway Patrol Division, eastern region. "The patrols will only operate during daylight hours and will not be used for enforcement operations along two-lane highways."
Operating policy associated with the stealth patrol cars require the trooper, whenever possible, to safely move along-side the left side of a violator's vehicle allowing the driver to make eye-contact with the uniformed trooper and recognize the police markings on the right side of the patrol car, then fall back to trail the violator and execute the traffic stop.
High visibility blue emergency LED lighting is displayed in both the front and rear of the stealth patrol cars and is used to signal a violator to pull over as well as alert traffic approaching from the rear to move to the further most lane away from the traffic stop. Each vehicle is equipped with the standard department communications package as well as camera systems that record both audio and video of all traffic stops.
The three stealth vehicles will be deployed and rotated each month across each of the twelve Highway Patrol troops.