06/12/2006

Ohio campus cops show softer side with Beetle cruiser

The Associated Press

CINCINNATI- Police at the University of Cincinnati say it's hard to be an imposing force when they're driving the cutest car on campus.

Police officers are tooling around in a white Volkswagen Beetle that sports a ladybug cartoon figure on its side, imploring students to "bug" them for information.

Deployed in 2000 to make officers more accessible to students, the car has become a familiar fixture around campus, drawing waves, honks and the occasional smirk from city police officers.

"The guys aren't 100 percent happy with the car," University of Cincinnati Police Capt. Karen Patterson said. "You don't look very intimidating driving a Bug."

The Bug projects a friendlier image for the police force, said Student Affairs and Services Vice President Mitchel Livingston.

"Police need soft edges as well," Livingston said, "and all of us have a sense of humor."

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