In April of 1973, Chief Gerald Rademaker implemented a new crime fighting unit called the Impact Task Force. Consisting of 120 seasoned veteran officers, the Impact Unit “…will provide an extra punch to combat crime in the community” according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Officers were divided into two shifts with four squads on each shift headed by a Sergeant. The Officers changed shifts each month and the squads shared the same days off.
1973 American Motors Ambassador sedans were purchased with Federal Grant funds and painted citron green. No prisoner screens were installed and eventually the cars were equipped with the first mobile data computers to be used in the State of Ohio. Although one of the most successful programs in the country, the Unit was disbanded in May of 1975 after the City was unable to renew the Federal Impact Cities Grant.
This 1973 AMC Ambassador Brougham sedan with a 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 engine and a Special Service Package began life as a Middlebury (Connecticut) Fire Chief’s Car. It was repainted and converted to a Cleveland Police Impact Task Force Car in 2019. Special thanks to R&R Auto Body, Vista Color Imaging, and Cleveland Communications for their help with this project.
The car contains original Cleveland Police equipment including radio head, shotgun & tamperproof rack, spotlight and a Kustom Mobile Data Computer (MDC) and printer. These cars were the first in Ohio to be equipped with MDCs, capable of allowing Officers to check license numbers for owner information, stolen vehicles, check for wanted persons, and exchange private messages between vehicles.