New Mexico police department transforms old patrol car into lowrider

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s not your average police car, but pretty soon an APD low-rider will be patrolling the streets of Albuquerque.

“We want it to have hydraulics to make it move, we want community members to help us paint it. Have it like a candy paint job. It’s not going to look anything like a traditional police car,” says Sgt. Larry Middleton.

APD says they have an old police car that they plan on transforming into a low rider, similar to what the San Diego Police Department created a few years ago.

“It’s a chance for us to really get together and bond with police because I know a lot of people have a different look on them, and this a chance that they are showing a different side to them,” says car painter, Rob Vanderslice.

Members of APD’s southwest problem response team say this is an opportunity for them to better connect with the community. They want the public to weigh in on what they want the car to look like.

“It’s going to be a vehicle that the department has built but the community builds it, as what I mean by that is, all the input is going to be from the community,” Middleton says.

Police say the car will be used for patrolling and community engagement. Tuesday, they started filming a short video to announce the project next month.

Lowriders say their community has changed over the years and they’re excited that police are making an effort to understand the culture.

“We’re not all bad no more, it’s all about cruising,” says Alvin Chavez.

APD is also accepting mural designs for the hood of the police low rider. The winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship

“This project is a part of building that bridge, building that bond, building that trust. If we do that, then we can start changing what happens and how things happen in this community,” says County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada.

Organizers say they are planning to announce the project on August 11 on “Lowrider Night” at Isotopes Park.

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