DPD’s free SUV
By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, email@example.com
City of Darlington Police Patrolman Benjamin Watford and Lt. Mike Cook recently showed off the department’s newest addition to the traffic enforcement fleet, a 2015 Ford Police Interceptor SUV, which cost DPD no money at all. Cook explains that the vehicle – along with two new in-car camera systems – were given to the department by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Network for fully participating in its DUI enforcement program. DPD was entered in a drawing for the SUV with two other departments from the Fourth Judicial Circuit, and luck was with Darlington. Fully kitted out for traffic enforcement and pursuit situations, the vehicle is worth about $45,000.
Once the vehicle is striped with Darlington Police Department livery, Ptl. Watford will use the radar-equipped SUV for traffic safety with a keen eye toward stopping dangerous drivers who may be under the influence. The vehicle arrived on May 21, already bearing the South Carolina traffic enforcement motto of “Target Zero,” meaning that state police agencies are aiming for zero traffic deaths on our roads.
“About 900 people died last year in the state of South Carolina on the roads. If you ask people how many of those deaths would you want to be their loved ones or family members, they’re going to say zero. So that’s our goal: zero traffic deaths,” said Lt. Cook.