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Connecticut State Police Mazda MX-6

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Connecticut is serious about enforcing their speed limits. In addition to the traditional full size Ford police cars, they've also used unmarked Ford Mustangs and even a Buick Grand National. 

These cars could be difficult to handle on wet and snow covered roads, so it led Connecticut to search for a new high performance car for a patrol vehicle.

The new patrol vehicle would have to have enough trunk space to carry gear, get decent gas mileage, be comfortable to drive, have front wheel drive, not cost much more than a Crown Victoria, and have a low enough profile to keep speeders from spotting it. They eventually settled on the Mazda MX-6. Connecticut considered the Ford Probe, but it's shorter and wouldn't fit taller Troopers. Also, the door is 4-inches longer and represents a hazard when opening the door in traffic. All the Mazda MX-6's were automatic transmission cars and were equipped with either radar or vascar.

Connecticut ordered six Mazdas in 1989 in a variety of colors.

(Note the red strobe light next to the rear view mirror)

(Here's a Connecticut State Police Mazda MX-6 next to one of their SSP Ford Mustangs)

According to a 1989 National Criminal Justice Reference Service abstract:

NCJ Number: NCJ 122535  
Title: Unmarked Patrol Cars
Journal: Law and Order  Volume: 37  Issue:11  Dated: (November 1989)  Pages: 20-23
Author(s): B Clede
Sale: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States
Publication Date: 1989
Pages: 4
Type: Issue overviews
Origin: United States
Language: English
Annotation: Unmarked sports cars are effective in traffic enforcement because of their invisibility and high-performance features.
Abstract: The Connecticut State Police Traffic Division, which has been running a group of unmarked Mustang LXs since 1984, recently purchased six sporty, two-door Mazda MX-6 GTs. These Mazdas are replacing some of the older Mustangs. Mustangs have been used around the country long enough now that some traffic officers say they are no longer necessary because there are other cars that can be handled more safely during high-speed pursuits. The California Highway Patrol, known for its innovations, is now testing a Toyota Camry sedan for possible use as a new lightweight cruiser. There are currently no plans to replace the Mustangs or Chevrolet and Dodge sedans used now, but there is concern that the large gas-guzzling rear-wheel drive cars will disappear in the future. In fact, fuel efficiency is one major reason that traffic enforcement agencies are replacing their old cars. Other reasons include the ability of the newer cars to reach a higher speed sooner than the older cars, and the availability of safety features such as air bags and four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking systems.
Main Term(s): Highway patrol
Index Term(s): Motor patrol ; Police patrol ; Traffic law enforcement

Resources:

February 1990 Popular Mechanics article by Mike Allen.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service abstract found at: http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=122535

 

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