A new Dodge has joined the force. The Broward County Sheriff’s Department in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, already well stocked with more than 200 Dodge Chargers, has now added several high-powered Challengers to its law enforcement fleet. For deputy Tom Sheridan, the choice was a no-brainer for the fleet’s Aggressive Driving Enforcement unit: “They’re a full-sized, rear-wheel drive V8-powered car that’s larger than the competition the Chevy Camaro and the Ford Mustang but they share a lot features and performance of the Charger,” he says. Among the features that this car does not have in common with everyday Challengers: front and rear radar systems, a higher top speed, and a Mopar Cold Air Intake system for improved performance and gas mileage.
For Deputy Sheridan, his love affair with Dodges goes back to 2006. The Broward Sheriffs Office acquired 12 of the new Hemi Powered Chargers and I was issued one,” he says. “I just loved the performance and handling.” But he was even more thrilled when he was assigned the 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T. The Dodge Challenger naturally draws attention when it’s out on the road, no matter what,” Sheridan explains. “Now imagine that same car with police graphics, lights, and siren, and you get an instant double-take from the public. The car is a conversation piece no matter where it goes. I cant tell you how many times a motorist will pull up alongside me while I’m operating the police car and give me a thumbs up or my favorite: Hey, thats got a Hemi! Of course, that’s when they can see it Sheridan’s ride is bit tougher to spot. Nicknamed “The Ghost” because of its stealthy appearance and hidden light and siren package, Sheridan’s Challenger is undoubtedly not a welcome sight for drivers pulled over by his Aggressive Driving Unit. But it would be difficult to find a car better suited to the task.
Deputy Sheridan was so impressed with the Dodge fleets on-the-job performance that he went out and bought himself a new red 2009 Challenger SRT (shown below) last April a car that tends to get its own fair share of stares and second looks. He says he enjoys bringing the squad’s new Challengers to show off to the public at local auto shows, where deputies can then field questions on vehicle specifics along with traffic laws. His agency is lucky enough to have some of the most dedicated men and women in law enforcement, he boasts, and theyre eager to learn about local traffic problems that need attention. “And our vehicles reflect that professionalism,” he says. That makes us at Dodge proud, too.