By Alexandria Hoff


CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — A police vehicle flashing its red and blue lights can make a person feel a bit anxious, unless that ride looks like this.

Credit: CBS3

“It’s not necessarily a patrol car, what it is, is a community engagement tool,” Camden County Police Lt. Zsakhiem James said.

This three-wheel, two-seat spectacle is called “The Slingshot.” It was introduced to the Camden community just a few days ago and was purchased by the police department using money confiscated from illegal drug dealers.

“We took their money that they were going to use to endanger our community and used it so we can engage the community,” James said. “Most people, when they see a police car, they tend to shy away. This is the one police car that’s going to bring people to us.”

And boy, did it ever. Parked outside the Boys and Girls Club in East Camden, curious children just had to take a closer look. Inside of the club, there was even more to be excited about.

“What we are having right now is playoff action here at the Boys and Girls Club,” Newlin Marshal said. “The Philadelphia 76ers are gracious enough to host a watch party here.”

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Decked out in Sixers’ gear, area youth grabbed a slice of pizza and settled in for the game, the Sixers’ dunk squad was also on hand to make sure hype levels were high.

It’s always the commonalities that bring a community closer, and on this evening, it’s the Sixers and The Slingshot.

“We wanted to make a statement when we came out, just to say, ‘Hey, hello, we are here, ‘would you like to talk to us?'” James said.

The Sixers took a 2-1 series lead with a 131-115 win over the Nets Thursday.

Alexandria Hoff