SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Some have said it’s not real, while others have claimed it’s illegal but in fact, the corvette that has been seen around town is actually an official Springfield Police Department vehicle.
After a drug seizure back in the early 90s, the 1977 Corvette was donated to Ozarks Technical Community College and then given to the D.A.R.E. program in 1992.
Cris Swaters, the Public Affairs Officer for SPD said after the D.A.R.E. program was eliminated it became a Community Services Section car for special events and got a black and white makeover.
“And now I can take it to specialty events and kind of drive around when I want to,” said Officer Trenton Herr of the Community Services Section. Trenton has been with SPD for about ten years.
He says although the vehicle has lights and sirens, he doesn’t intend on pulling anyone over.
“I’m probably not going to do that. Most people probably don’t think that it’s real. It’s also very slow and it’s not really the safest car to be out there. And as far as it’s very small in there and there’s no space to put a prisoner.” says Herr.
He says there are other people who can drive the car, but he is the only one who wants to. The vehicle is very small, there is no air conditioning, and it drives really slow.
“A lot of the car guys know just how slow it is. So then they want to race me because they know they would beat me because a Prius could smoke this car,” said Herr. He is a car lover himself and was excited when he was given the opportunity to take care of it.
The corvette isn’t the only specialty vehicle. SPD also owns an ice cream truck.
Herr says he has found whenever he takes it to places kids just run towards it.
“A lot of kids tend to be scared of cops. So I think it’s great that they see this car and they’re like, ‘that’s really cool. I want to go see it.’ Then they come talk to me,” said Herr. “I get to hand out stickers, bracelets, stuff like that, and it kind of gives us more involved with them because they’re not used to being able to talk to a police officer.”