(Pontiac Firebird at the Border Patrol Museum in El Paso Texas)
In the early 90’s the US Border Patrol Tucson Sector had a program called Project Roadrunner. The purpose of the program was to reduce the number and length of pursuits using vehicles quicker than the traditional police cars at the time. The border patrol purchased a Chevy Z-28 Camaro, SSP Ford Mustang, and a Pontiac Firebird for this project. All three vehicles were equipped with Federal Signal Jetsonic lightbars and a roll cage.
After the program, the Camaro was sold and eventually destroyed. The Firebird and the SSP Mustang now resides at the Border Patrol Museum in El Paso Texas.
The Sign Next To The Firebird In The Photo To The Left States:
Increased safety through fewer and shorter pursuits is our goal. Each fraction of a mile you reduce a ‘pursuit’ greatly reduces the danger to the traveling public, persons in the suspect vehicle and our agents. We are finding that fewer people attempt to outrun an agent driving one of these cars. We are finding that most who do, are overtaken in a much shorter distance than with our standard four door sedans. We also acknowledge that some suspects refuse to stop regardless.
Evaluations include a variety of cars, equipment and advanced driver training. Currently being evaluated in the Tucson Arizona Sector are a Ford Mustang LX (Special Service), a Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z28 (H.O. 5.0 Liter) and two Pontiac Firebirds (Formula 350). Agents for this project were selected from a cadre of volunteers. Their service records were reviewed and personal interviews were conducted. Three drivers per unit were chosen to attend a police driving course at a nationally recognized school of high performance driving,
Improved agency an unanticipated benefit. This dramatic departure from the standard patrol units has generated a great deal of media and public interest. Consequently. upon request, we have displayed them at ‘special interest car shows’ to benefit charities such as the Casa De Ninos, a local child-care crisis center, transported McGruff at local school functions (crime prevention talks), exhibited them during drug demand reduction talks and opened doors at auto club shows while recruiting for new agents.