If the flashing lights in your rearview mirror seem a little funky, you’re not hallucinating.
The Nebraska State Patrol has a flashback patrol car on the streets. It’s a 1993 Ford Mustang Special Service Package patrol car.
The 5.0-liter, V-8 squad car was sitting in storage for years until Trooper Charlie Cook dusted it off about a year and a half ago.
“I myself am a Mustang lover, so I love the fact I get to drive it so much,” said Cook, who owned a 2000 Mustang until he started a family. “I try and drive it as much as my schedule allows.”
The classic cop car travels around eastern and central Nebraska, primarily the Lincoln area, as a recruiting tool and for public outreach at community events. But if crime is afoot or an officer needs an assist, Cook will get there in his 26-year-old whip. It has happened about five times since he took command of the car.
On May 13, Cook pulled up in the Mustang at mile marker 402 on eastbound Interstate 80 to help an officer with a traffic stop and to make an arrest on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana wax. The Nebraska State Patrol posted a photo of the Mustang on Facebook, and the photo gained national attention.
That’s nothing new for Cook. Every day he takes the Mustang out, without fail, people gawk.
The ol 93 #Mustang just convinced a young man what he wants to do for a career; #FutureTrooper. Also sneaking into the pic is Lt. Downing #273 of @NSP_TroopD. Good job recruiting Sir ???????? pic.twitter.com/ImBVXjDwE0
— NSP Trooper Cook (@NSPTrooperCook) May 2, 2019
“When I do have the opportunity to drive it, no less than five to 10 people a day will stop me and want to take pictures of it and ask about it, sit in it, whatever,” he said.
The Mustang currently has about 105,000 miles on it. Cook said he plans to keep driving it until it kicks the bucket.