What has four wheels, a hydraulic system and a bumping stereo you can hear driving up the street?

That would be "The Guardian," a new promotional tool for the San Diego Police Department that debuted today in the city's Skyline neighborhood.

The low rider is part of an outreach effort that SDPD hopes will build community connections with police and dispel any bad blood. Project leaders said the idea came from Los Angeles, where a similar program created better relations between police and the community.

Community organizers said it wasn't easy to get the low rider project off the ground. They've been trying to partner with police for about three years now. To bridge the gap, using something they can relate too, but in a positive way.

"Unfortunately, low riders have a negative stigma," said Mayra Nunez, liaison for the low rider community.

Officer Gerardo Serrano added that the Skyline area "has always had an 'us-versus-them' mentality" and that it's hoped the low rider will change things.

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San Diego Police Debut Low Rider To Strengthen Community Relations

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Police Department unveiled its newest set of wheels in the Skyline area Wednesday – a lowrider police cruiser.   It was the brainchild of the lowrider community said Mayra Nuñez who approached the police department with the idea.

“We’re trying to reach the community and bridge the gap between law enforcement lowriders and the community overall,” said Lowrider Community Liaison Mayra Nuñez.  “We’re trying to erase the negative stigma that low riders have had throughout the years.”

Nuñez said the vehicle costs around $50,000 and took about seven months to complete. It was paid for through private donations from local businesses.

Jonathon Mercado painted the pinstriping on the vehicle.

“It`s a real honor to be part of this,” said Mercado.  “In a way, I`m kind of giving back to the community because this car is going to be shown all around the community.”

San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said the Guardian, as it’s called, will attend community events, parades and car shows.

“It`s an exciting piece of equipment,” said Lansdowne.   “It also is one of those items that builds trust instantly between the community and police department.  They see us as part of the community as opposed to visiting people in the community and this car will bridge that gap.”

Members of the lowrider community and the law enforcement community attended Wednesday’s unveiling.

“It`s a long time coming,” said Lansdowne.  “I`m happy it`s here.”

Read more: http://fox5sandiego.com/2013/05/01/lowrider-police-cruiser-hits-the-streets/#ixzz2Wg1hn19J