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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Sep. 4, 200712:00 PM EST

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by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

by Max Marbut

Staff Writer

Since he joined the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office 28 years ago, Officer Steve Carver said one of the things that has changed the most is the cars he has driven for work and the way they’re equipped, not only in terms of transportation, but also in terms of how he and his fellow officers do their jobs.

“The first car I was assigned was a 1977 Chevy Nova. It was faster, but this one is safer and more comfortable and it gets better gas mileage.

“The first two cars I had had the old bubble lights, an eight-channel radio and a public address system. That was it. We used to have to roll down the passenger-side window to talk to someone on the curb. Police cars didn’t have power windows until 1989 and I didn’t get one of those until ‘93,” said Carver.

He drives the 2006 Chevrolet Impala each morning after roll call from the Police Memorial Building to Hemming Plaza, where he parks it and begins his walking beat. It’s his headquarters while he’s in the field and the latest state-of-the-art communications technology is on board. The laptop computer with wireless modem has become the most useful component of the system.

“It performs virtually all the functions we need. I can transmit and receive calls and do inquiries about license plates or driver’s licenses and it’s linked to the state and national crime information systems. There’s nothing I do on a daily basis I don’t do on the laptop. Having them keeps our radios free for emergencies,” said Carver.

While just about everything has changed about the car he uses every day (except the most basic things like the steering wheel and the pedals), Carver said one thing hasn’t changed at all in almost 30 years.

“I have loved this job every day.”

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