The tables have turned: Rapid City Police are the ones getting stopped in this classic ride
RAPID CITY, S.D. — No, you’re not imagining the scene of a ’60s cop show – the retro Rapid City Police Car often spotted around town is a real, functioning patrol unit.
The 1967 Plymouth Belvedere – fully equipped with radio, sirens, and spike strips – sports a 5.7 hemi V8 engine and a whole lot of class.
“So it’s nice and it’s fun, this car is fun, it turns heads, it turns our heads, and it’s got everything that we need,” says RCPD Patrol Sgt. Chris Hunt.
The car itself found by a now-retired officer in a barn East River, and officers have joined together in a labor of love to turn it into what they need – but it’s a little different than your typical unit.
“It functions a little bit different than what we’re used to, it does not have all-wheel drive, it does not have anti-lock brakes, it does not have traction control, there’s no airbags in the car so we’ve gotta be a little bit careful to what kind of situations we’re gonna get it into,” Sgt. Hunt says.
It’s not just a shiny toy, however, the classic car is playing a big role in community engagement.
Sgt. Hunt says, “It’s almost kinda an ice breaker. A lot of folks are interested in the car and we’re able to use that as an awesome opportunity to have more conversations with the people out there that might not otherwise happen.”
And that ’60s cop drama look? Not far off…
“The pilot episode of ‘Adam-12’ was filmed with a 1967 Plymouth Belvedere that the production had on loan from the Los Angeles Police Department – a real life police car,” Sgt. Hunt says.
The cost? Unknown – but between volunteer time and donations from local businesses –
“The total investment I would say is absolutely worth it when it comes to the terms of the amount of engagement we get out of the community,” Sgt. Hunt says.