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Question a Cop: What's in a squad car?

The interior of a Duluth Police Department patrol vehicle. courtesy Duluth Police Department

Squad cars can be a bit of a mystery. Unless you've been on a ride along or taken one of our black and white taxis to the jail, it's not too common to get an up close and personal look at a squad car. It's amazing the amount of gadgets crammed into these mobile offices that take multitasking to a whole new level.

Computer

The computers are connected to software that's also used by our area public safety agencies to ensure consistent communication and collaboration.

Radio

The police radio provides instant communication between our officers, area partner agencies and 911 dispatchers.

Dash Cameras

The front and rear dash cameras provide accurate record of what's happening in front and in the back seat of the squad.

Radar Cone

The front and rear radar cones can track a car's speed coming and going.

Light and siren control panel

With this control panel, officers can make any configuration of lights appropriate for the call. Side lights can even be turned on to get a clear look down a dark alley.

Shotgun

The shotgun is most commonly used to humanely end the life of an injured animal.

Printer

The passenger headrest is actually a printer. This is used to print out citations and other information pertaining to a call.

Built-In GPS

Built-in GPS makes it possible for dispatchers to know where squads are in an instant. Our officers can also see where other squads are in case backup is necessary for a call.

Our squads put on about a million miles per year patrolling Duluth. With that much driving around it may seem like we're able to see everything that goes on in this town. While we know most of what's happening, we still heavily rely on our citizen partners — you — to alert us to suspicious activity. So, remember, if your intuition is telling you that something isn't right, report it to 911.

"Question a cop" is a weekly column provided to the News Tribune by the Duluth Police Department and written by Ingrid Hornibrook, public information officer for the DPD. Have a question you'd like to ask? Send it to dpd_pio@duluthmn.gov.