Everywhere Gilroy Police Officer Mark Tarasco drives, he sees raised thumbs and hears whoops of joy—at least 10 a day.
That’s because he’s driving GPD’s hottest and coolest car, a 2015 black Dodge Charger that looks like it could star in a movie (Tarasco and the Bandit?).
The Charger was donated by the South County Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership after Tarasco approached the owner for a cool car.
“We’ve had a great three years,” said owner Angela Greenwood. “This is our way to pay it forward.”
Tarasco is the department’s school resources officer and wanted new ways to connect with high school kids. The car has been a big resource. He’s also organized a BMX and skateboard event called Extreme Youth, which lasted from 2009-2012.
The officer took the car to the next level, asking local high school students to submit designs for its decals. Two by Christopher High School students Franki Vanni and Miriam Montesinos won and were merged into one design, providing some flashy bright blue on the side of the car.
“We like it because it’s a modern look, it’s contemporary,” said Tarasco.
In keeping with that, the car has Facebook and Twitter logos on its back bumper.
The car isn’t just for show, either. It has everything its less cool cousins have: emergency lighting, siren, bumper, computer, and other internal equipment that was paid for by asset forfeiture funds from drug money taken off the streets of Gilroy.