Unmarked vehicle helps Oro Valley police officers more easily see, stop dangerous driving

New OVPD unit combats hazardous driving
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 7:16 AM MST
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ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Oro Valley Police Department is now able to more easily see and stop dangerous driving, thanks to a $64,528 grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

AZGOHS gifted the funds to the department in order to make roads safer and improve traffic conditions across town.

OVPD Public Information Officer Mike Duran said the department used the money to purchase a unique, unmarked SUV that will help officers see and stop problems on the road before people get hurt.

“We will use it on some of our deployments towards traffic complaint areas,” Duran said. “Those complaints towards speeding, distracted driving, neighborhood complaints where people aren’t completely stopping at a stop sign.”

When people see a marked police car, Duran said drivers tend to slow down, put away their phone and follow the law. He said this new SUV has a better chance of seeing what’s really going on when police aren’t around.

“Contrary to things like our HiVE deployment, which is High Visibility Enforcement, it helps detour with just the idea that police are out there, the visibility of it,” Duran said. “This is a little more subdued, which helps make sure you’re seeing what’s really happening on the roads when officers aren’t around.”

While the SUV doesn’t have traditional markings, it does have conspicuous lights on the sides and bottom of the unit. Duran said drivers will know it’s an officer pulling them over when the lights are turned on.

An officer will drive the vehicle and give citations at their own discretion, but Duran said giving tickets isn’t the goal. He said the department hopes they can make someone think twice about driving dangerous just by pulling them over and talking to them about what went wrong.

“With this, we kind of have that one-on-one personal contact with that specific driver, with that specific behavior, and hopefully make a change in that behavior that will last a long time,” Duran said.

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