Saginaw County cruiser opens door to communication

Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel drives around new cruiser and interacts with community. (Photo credit: Amanda Chodnicki)

When many see a police car cruising past on the road, they slow down.

But one special police car in Saginaw County is bringing people to a complete stop.

Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel's new secret weapon is killing people with kindness in his new '67 Ford Galaxie.

"It's old," he said. "50 years old... still a year older than me."

The sheriff said his new ride is opening the door to communication between him and the community.

He said when he drove their police cruiser's current model, people didn't really approach him.

However, he said, with this new ride, it's a different story.

Without fail, Sheriff Federspiel said, people stop and look.

"For some, it evokes a memory... a good memory," he said. "Others... one gentleman told me he was in high school in 1967 and he remembers a vehicle just like this in Saginaw County right in his rear view mirror with the lights on."

For the old, he said, it brings back memories.

"It's from 'The Andy Griffith Show,'" one passerby said.

In addition, it helps the little ones create memories of their own.

"This is pretty cool," little Aubrie Konieczka of Saginaw said. "I was very confused on how you got out though... it's not like a normal handle."

The best part, the sheriff said, is seeing how excited people get.

"I think it's really neat when people sit in that car and you see that smile on their face," he said.

Sheriff Federspiel said no tax dollars were used to purchase the new ride.

He traded two drug forfeiture cars to get it in return.

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