Harrington Police Unveil New Community Policing Vehicle - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Harrington Police Unveil New Community Policing Vehicle

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Harrington's newest police vehicle may turn heads but it probably won't be doing traffic stops, instead increasing the department's visibility as a method of community outreach.

The department unveiled a new SUV on Friday that looks like it belongs on a racetrack, not parked outside of a police station. Covered in decals from sponsoring businesses, the vehicle looks like it belongs in a NASCAR race.

"It was just exciting to have it out and about," said Chief Norman Barlow, who noted that the vehicle's appearance is intended to reflect unity with the surrounding community.

The vehicle itself cost about $30,000, with the overall cost rising to roughly $45,000 after taking into consideration the cost of fully furnishing it with lights, sirens and other police equipment.

However, the SUV won't be used in patrol. Barlow said he intends to have it displayed at events and parked around the community to boost awareness about the department's outreach. The community police officer driving the vehicle could use it for police work, though it will generally not be deployed for those purposes.

Harrington resident Tyrone Lane said he was generally supportive of the vehicle acquisition, saying it looked like it belongs in NASCAR. But he felt it should be used in regular police work.

"Even if it's a camera vehicle catching people speeding on camera, I'd rather it do that than just sit around until events happen," he said.

Charles Reynolds, a Harrington resident, said he believes the acquisition was a good one because it will help young people like his nephew get better acquainted with police.

"I don't care what they're doing as long as they're doing it right to help their community. That way the community won't be ashamed to come for help," he said.

Barlow said the unusual appearance of the vehicle reflects a need to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement, noting recent tension and unrest in parts of the country.

"Our community and policing is different than it was several years ago," he said.

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