Ask a Trooper: State Patrol has 770 marked squads in the state

Published 2:01 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Troy Christianson


I was approached at a gas station and asked several questions about the State Patrol squads. I was recently issued a 2019 Dodge Charger, and he noticed the color was a brighter maroon.

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The State Patrol has a distinctive maroon paint color through Ford. The maroon paint that Ford uses is custom — we are the only agency in the country using it, but with an added cost per vehicle. The color on the Dodge (Red Octane Pearl) is a factory color at no extra cost to us. The Dodge maroon is the closest color match available.

The State Patrol currently has approximately 770 marked squads and 24 specially marked squads. These squads are operated by troopers whose primary job function is road patrol. Troopers are able to choose from the Dodge Charger or the Ford Explorer, depending on what is available when a replacement is required.

Both vehicles are all-wheel drive, which is necessary for Minnesota winters. The State Patrol issues new squads to troopers when the vehicle reaches approximately 120,000 miles. The retired squads are then auctioned off online to the highest bidder.

2019 Dodge Charger Pursuit AWD highlighted features:

• 5.7L WT V8 Hemi engine with 370HP

• Variable Valve Timing helps increase fuel economy

• Specially designed and equipped for demands of law enforcement

• 18-inch steel rims

• Equipped with hands free Uconnect Bluetooth

• Back-up camera and sensors

• Officer protection package

• 0 to 60 in 5.87 seconds

• Top speed 130+ mph

• Top speed of 800 MHZ police radio = 186,000 miles per second

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848; or reach him at

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.