KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


Sahuarita PD deploys 'ghost cars'

Aim is to catch drivers "using their normal driving behavior"
Posted at 8:16 PM, Sep 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 14:37:34-04

SAHUARITA, Ariz. — "People aren't as apt to see us and they will use their normal driving behavior, like just the other day I had a lady pass me at over 60 miles per hour."

That's how Sahuarita Police Lieutenant, Mike Falquez said drivers in town will drive around police cruisers not openly marked.

"It's that type of behavior that you're easily able to see versus when someone sees a marked unit."

He said driving new 'ghost cars' helps catch drivers breaking the law versus a marked police cruiser.

"I've pulled up to stop light, had people in front of me and they've decided to race. You blend in easier."

The department has had two 'ghost cars' for ranking officers, but has recently purchased and deployed two more.

"We have one that's assigned to our traffic unit that is on the day shift and then we have one that is assigned to another officer who's a DUI officer on the night shift," Lt. Falquez said.

The units, combined with the 40 or so marked cars, Lt. Falquez said are already deployed, help cover the 38 square miles of the town of Sahuarita.

"A nice country drive and then you have the business district."

He said roads can go from rural two lanes to busy streets to interstates in town.

"Our goal is to have a low-profile so we can address those flagrant and dangerous driving violations."

KGUN 9 pulled stats from Sahuarita PD and in 2020 so far, 5215 traffic stops have been made.

"Every traffic stop that our officers make, we don't give citations. We actually give probably more warnings than we do citations."

Sahuarita Police have reported 624 citations in 2020 so far.

A fraction of the 2587 they reported in 2019, likely, the department says, a result of the pandemic.