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State partol's Dodge Charger getting attention on area roads

Yeah, it's got a hemi.

And it also has a radar, blue lights and a police radio.

A sporty Dodge Charger has become the newest pursuit car within the Georgia State Patrol. It looks nothing like the traditional Ford Crown Victoria nor does it handle like one.

The Dodge Chargers are being placed at each of the patrol posts throughout the state. One of the latest ones to go into service is the one assigned to Trooper First Class A.R. Lamkin of the Thomson GSP post.

The slick-top Charger, which doesn't have a blue light bar like most of the Crown Vics, is able to maneuver in and out of traffic and be upon a traffic offender before the driver even detects it's a patrol car, says TFC Lamkin.

"It's much more difficult to detect our new pursuit cars," said Sgt. Jason Johnson, commander of the Thomson GSP post. "We're supposed to get another pursuit car at our Thomson post within the next couple of months."

The Charger "is a better handling car, overall, to me than the Crown Victoria," said TFC Lamkin during a ride-along interview last Saturday night. "It handles curves and turns much better. It also accelerates much quicker."

The 5.7 liter engine allows the new sporty patrol car to have the pursuit capabilities that state patrol officials wanted.

"It's a much faster car," said TFC Lamkin. "This will allow us to catch some of those motorists who have real fast cars and try to outrun law enforcement vehicles."

He pointed out that when he drove the Ford that it would take an average of two miles to catch up with a speeding motorist, where as now, it only takes about a half mile.

"The new car is really going to help us a lot," said TFC Lamkin.

Fully marked with the GSP decals, the newest patrol car also features a dash lit-sign that allows motorists to see that it's a state trooper when they look in their rear-view mirror.

"This was placed in our new pursuit cars, so motorists can identify that the car behind them is in fact a state trooper," said Sgt. Johnson.

TFC Lamkin, who has been with the GSP for the past six years, is a former deputy with the Richmond County Sheriff's Department in Augusta - the last two of his six years with the department - he worked in the traffic division.

"I love being a state trooper and having the kinds of modern equipment to do my job as best I can," added TFC Lamkin. "Cars like this will be very helpful in getting the job done better."



Web posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007













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