Cops ride in style, send message

DURHAM It's a sparkly Cadillac Escalade complete with 24-inch chrome rims and a TV screen mounted on the dash.

Before you add this to your list of taxpayer outrages, we should point out that the taxpayers didn't pay a dime for the luxury vehicle. It was confiscated from a well-known drug dealer during a federal investigation of his marijuana and ecstasy trafficking operation.

Police hope the Cadillac will be a rolling billboard.

"Oh, yeah, you get a whole lot of comments like 'Oh, man! The police in Durham ain't playin' or 'the police in Durham riding on spinners,'" said Sgt. Jermaine Jackson with the Durham Police Department.

Police are trying to send the message that if you deal drugs, then they're going to come take your ride. They're taking the Cadillac to elementary and middle schools as part of a new anti-gang program.

"When we tell them that we took it from a drug dealer, they're like, they're surprised," Jackson explained. "We teach them don't go down that road. We're teaching you the right things, school's teaching you the right things, but if you choose to go down that road then like I said, we're going to come and take it from you."

And it's not just kids who are the target of the message.

"We'd like to put the drug dealers on notice," said Cpl. Daryl Mack. "We need some more vehicles and we'd like to borrow some of yours."

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