RCPD’s tiny patrol car, with a gigantic purpose

RAPID CITY, S.D.- A recent viral post from Little Rock Police Department, showcasing their tiny patrol car, gained over 57,000 comments and 80,000 shares.

They’re not the only ones with a tiny patrol vehicle though, Rapid City Police Department has a fun sized car of their own.

If you’ve been to Rapid City, you’ve probably seen an RCPD patrol car, maybe an SUV, or possibly the old Plymouth, but the Polaris side-by-side is a little smaller and sneakier.

Rcpd Utv 3It does still have all the bells and whistles- or should we say ‘lights and sirens’- of a patrol car, plus, “air conditioning and heating,” according to one of its many drivers, Lieutenant Tim Doyle of the Rapid City Police Department.

“It’s got all the toys,” he adds, plus many other gifts that only come in small packages. “We can even get through the tight spaces downtown through the barriers, on the sidewalk if we need to,” Lieutenant Doyle adds. “There’s really very few places we can’t take it.”

It travels well up most trails, according to Lieutenant Doyle. “If we have an incident up on M Hill, we can get…not everywhere up there, but at least get to the top.”

Calls like “missing, maybe endangered people that have gone up there,” or other issues that arise in inconvenient places warrant a more nimble response. Plus, Lieutenant Doyle says that the “Quality of Life Unit uses this a lot to do their outreach.”

Rcpd Utv 2The side-by-side partakes in parades too, but certainly won’t be breaking speed limits on I-90. With a long look at the speedometer, Lieutenant Doyle estimated his maximum speed. “I’ve had it up to about 45, so how fast it’ll actually go, I don’t know.”

Over rugged terrain or in city parks, accessibility can beat acceleration. “It’s not as fast as a patrol car, so is it more fun? I don’t know…the trade off of being able to go off road versus being able to go faster if you need to, I guess that’s just personal preference.”

Next time you see the UTV, you can give an officer a wave, but no- there aren’t 30 more cops hidden inside the tiny car.

Categories: Local News