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Deputies find a need for speed

Posted July 21, 2009
Updated July 22, 2009

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— The Wake County Sheriff's Department is using a legendary muscle car to pull over drivers who exceed the speed limit or try to deal drugs.

Corvette goes after speeders Corvette goes after speeders

Sheriff Donnie Harrison said the 2007 Chevy Corvette Z06 was seized from a drug dealer.

“We got it on a drug seizure. It went to court, and we requested the car and got the car. What I want to do is use this car to fight drugs, and to fight crime in Wake County,” Harrison said.

The black car boasts 505 horsepower and goes from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds, the sheriff said.

“It is just like an unmarked car. We have all types of unmarked cars, and we have other drug seizure cars, too. But this one is unique, because most people won't see it," Harrison said.

The car, which can reach speeds close to 200 mph, is already earning its keep for the department.

“The first stop (with the car brought in) five bags of drugs. Then we got another stop, and got over a pound of marijuana,” Harrison said.

The car, which is well-equipped, would cost around $81,000 new, Harrison said.

The use of the Corvette by the sheriff's departments has come with criticism, even though it is not a cost for taxpayers.

“Some people say, 'Why don't you sell it back? Auction it off and give the money to the schools. They need the money, too.' When you auction off equipment and vehicles like this, you are only going to get a portion of what it is worth,” Harrison said.

However, Harrison said the car will likely be sold at auction once the department gets its use from it. The money will then be given to public schools, he said.

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  • anonemoose Jul 24, 2009

    kcfoxie, it's kind hard to buy an E-7 since only the prototype exists. I hope they are produced before I retire.

  • anonemoose Jul 24, 2009

    determined to win... LE vehicle are exempt from window tint requirements, so what's your next whine?

    I don't think this car will cost $22K in additional maintenance over the next 5 years, which is what it will cost to buy a new car instead of the Vette. The lights, siren and radio would have been bought for another car anyway.

    As for stopping cars, there is a thing called "criminal interdiction through traffic enforcement". I have been through the interdiction classes taught internationally by three National Interdiction Officers of the Year. That's where you use visual clues and behavior to pick up on somebody who is involved in criminal activity.
    I bet the car will be used in speeding campaigns. I think I saw a Pro 1000 radar antennae in there, but they aren't going to use it for suspect contact anyway with blue lights mounted in the windshield. It will probably be used for observation and tracking purposes mostly.

  • mrmud4x4 Jul 22, 2009

    within the next ten years we will all be forced to have chips and GPS on our vehicles. Then we will automatically have speeding incursion fines sent in the mail. Bonus - we'll be paying taxes on every mile we drive!

  • Kilroy Jul 22, 2009

    "Can still be used as a cop car, but let's face it, now that it's been all over the news, the "undercover" factor has been compromised, criminals will be looking for a black Corvette."

    I agree. Everyone will be looking for it now. DUH...kind of like when TV broadcasts the LEO are having DWI checkpoints.

  • mrmud4x4 Jul 22, 2009

    Cop + Vette = Fiberglass + Lightpole
    above formula automatically increases exponentially when "Cop" is replaced with "Young Cop"

  • imsosorry Jul 22, 2009

    Guess its not so undercover now that it made headline news !!

  • thepeopleschamp Jul 22, 2009

    coldcriffs, helicopters are not as available as they are in movies and Los Angeles. Also, there is not always a car magically in position to be radioed to. There is rarely another patrol car ahead of a suspect just waiting to be called on the radio. 1 suspect in a Mustang can outrun a 100 cops in Ford Festivas, regardless of radios. Someone has to be able to match the speed of the suspect to keep in in sight. If you cant keep the suspect in sight, how do you radio someone else to tell them where to go???

  • coldcriffs Jul 22, 2009

    I don't see the relevance of going fast in a police car anymore. With technology, communication and physical limitations, I imagine out-running an officer is near impossible. Moreover, cars today, even the euro designer models, are limited by computer mechanisms. If I am not mistaken, I think the limit is 130 or 135. Either way, it is not fast enough to outrun a helicopter and CB radio waves.

  • Professor Jul 22, 2009

    The officers going excess speed can kill himself. The officer should obey the rules of the roads just like the rest of us. He is not that vulnerable that life can become death.

  • Professor Jul 22, 2009

    There is no need for excessive speed, not even for cops. It causes wrecks and lives.

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