Mario Williams, who played for the Texans from 2006 to 2011 and still lives in the city, appeared at a March 12 ceremony prior to the cars entering service. This was not the first gift of vehicles or equipment from the NFL defensive end. In 2011, Williams donated five V-8 Chevrolet Camaros to the Traffic Enforcement Division.
Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. thanked Williams for the donation.
"We know he plays for another team, but we all know that Houston is still in his heart when it comes to the Houston Police Department," McClelland said. "We're very, very appreciative of that. I can't thank him enough for what he has done."
McClelland added, "The resources are very scare at HPD. One of our critical shortages are of police vehicles."
The traffic unit will utilize the cars to catch aggressive drivers who weave through traffic at high speeds, Capt. Larry Baimbridge told POLICE Magazine. Williams donated five solid-black V-8 Chargers with ghosted lettering and stealth lighting packages. They've been nicknamed "phantoms" by unit officers.
"It's not just nice looking," Baimbridge said. "It's very effective in trying to deter that aggressive driving." The vehicles are also used to catch drunk drivers.
By Paul Clinton