Medford traffic cops use marked vehicles

I was driving by Hawthorne Park and saw a car pulled over by what looked like a Medford police vehicle, except that it was a big, white pickup with a canopy. It had flashing lights in the grill like an unmarked police car, but I wondered if it really was a police vehicle? Also, while I'm at it, does Medford use unmarked cars for traffic patrol or do only detectives drive around in those black muscle cars? OK, one more, how many patrol cars does MPD have and how many unmarked cars (an approximate number would do) does the department have? Just curious. Thank you.

— Louise H., Medford

That's a lot of questions, Louise, but we and an officer with Medford's finest, Lt. Mike Budreau, are willing to do the heavy lifting.

As it turns out, Lt. Budreau knew exactly what you were describing because he was on the scene near the park. He said the white pickup with emergency lights was a Medford fire department vehicle that had stopped to block the traffic lane while emergency responders helped a 14-year-old boy who had been struck by a car while riding his bicycle. The boy was taken to the hospital, but had only minor injuries.

Budreau told us the MPD's detectives and administrative staff have unmarked vehicles with lights in the grill or windshield, and patrol supervisors drive unmarked black Dodge Chargers with emergency lights. Medford police have 28 marked patrol cars, four unmarked patrol cars and 24 unmarked cars used by detectives or administrators.

The department primarily uses marked police motorcycles for traffic stops, he said, and also has one car used for traffic stops.

And, to put your mind at ease, Louise, the lieutenant tells us that all traffic units are marked.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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