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Get ready for the "Rumbler"

Altus_The Altus Police Department (APD) has added a new device to one of its patrol cars.  The device is designed to overcome a lot of drivers' distractions.  It's called "The Rumbler," and it's designed to vibrate as well as wail so that officers can get drivers' undivided attention.

The APD currently has one unit being used during traffic stops, and to help clear intersections so officers can get to emergency situations more quickly.  The department says many people have heard the usual siren for so long that they may have become accustomed to its sound, and no longer pay attention to the flashing lights and sirens. 

While drivers won't be able to hear a difference, drivers like Carla - who have been pulled over by Officer Mike Bell - say they have felt it.  "It's a noticeable difference to me," she said.  "I'm used to the old ones." 

7News rode along with Bell, and while the siren sounded about the same to the crew, the minute Officer Bell hit the horn, they felt the vibration.  He says the addition of the new equipment is about getting people's attention.  In the middle of busy intersections:  "They're [drivers] not pulling over and clearing intersections when we're trying to come through for an emergency," he said.

The Rumbler is unique in that it combines with existing equipment already in the vehicle.  Emergency vehicles typically have "wail," "yelp," and "hyperyelp," but Bell says the addition of the Rumbler is a good way to get the attention of today's distracted drivers.  "The good thing is - with the young kids today who have their music with a lot of bass in it - this system is made so they can feel it."  Carla says the Rumbler would get her attention no matter what distractions were occurring in her car.  "It overrode the radio," she said. 

The APD says it currently has only one Rumbler, but Officer Bell says he would like more of them, and intends to talk to the city council about it.  The cost for one Rumbler is just under $300, but Bell says that if it saves a life, the equipment could be priceless.

Count on 7News to keep you updated.
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