APD’s Lowrider Makes Debut at Drive-thru Car Show

APD’s Youth Leadership Lowrider is ready to hit the streets.

May 15, 2021

Today, Mayor Tim Keller, City Councilor Klarissa Peña, and the Albuquerque Police Department unveiled the just finished APD Youth Leadership Lowrider car at a drive-thru car show at Balloon Fiesta Park. APD’s Southwest Area Command’s PRT Team has been working with youth from around Albuquerque to rebuild an out of commission police vehicle into a lowrider representative of our Albuquerque car culture. The car features artwork from numerous youth and a badge honoring autism awareness, as part of this community driven project.

“This project has been community driven and it’s achieved our goal of bringing together different aspects of our community to showcase our Albuquerque culture and pride,” said Councilor Peña, who has driven this effort and cruises her own pink Cadillac lowrider. “Car culture is Albuquerque culture. Our Police Department’s recognition of that and ability to use it as tool for community outreach and community building is innovative and can be a model for other Area Commands here in Albuquerque and other police departments around the Country.”

APD Youth Leader Lowrider Unveiling May 15, 2021

Initial conception of the APD Youth Leadership Lowrider began in July of 2019. The program was initiated when the Albuquerque Police Department’s Southwest PRT Officers held a Coffee with a Cop event at West Mesa High School. While trying to connect with the students, many of them suggested the department get an “actual cool car” with a loud stereo-system. Officer Gabriel Candelaria who got the idea from Officer Jason Deatherage, expressed the desire to build a lowrider patrol vehicle to City Councilor Klarissa J. Peña and she immediately realized the positive impact this could have on the youth of Albuquerque. Councilor Peña and APD’s Southwest PRT Team collaborated to make a youth leadership program. 

“This lowrider is a symbol of bringing the community together and can be a bridge between police and the people of our City,” said Southwest Area Commander Timothy Espinosa. “I want to thank our community partners and businesses that donated their time and work to this project.”

Those on hand and recognized at the car show and unveiling included Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina, Southwest Area Commander Tim Espinosa, Sargent Larry Middleton, and the PRT Team, City Council President Cynthia Borrego and Councilor Lan Sena, and County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada. Also, numerous community partners and businesses that participated with the APD Youth Leadership Project, including representatives from Nusenda Credit Union, Robert Cardenas from Show Off Automotive, Robert Vanderslice who painted the lowrider, youth art competition winner Kalyn Flores, John Granger from MHQ that did the decal work and other equipment, and Lorenzo “House” Otero. Numerous other community organizations and business provided parts and in-kind labor on the lowrider, including Blast Factory Paintworks, Top Auto Body Shop, King of the Streets Black Magic, TRSC Trailers, S & V Auto, Floyd’s Upholstery, West Central Community Development Group, O’Reilly’s, Auto Zone, Transtar, Fatty’s Custom, Baca’s Automotive, Johnny Peña, West Side Speech Academy, Frank Chavez, West Mesa High School, Loyal One’s Car Club, La Familia Car Club, Duke’s Car Club, Drifter’s Car Club, Rollerz Only Car Club, and John Traub from the Isotopes for partnering for Lowrider Night at Isotopes Park.

Funding for this project mostly came from community donations and in-kind services totaling over $60,000. The City contributed $35,000 from Councilor discretionary funds and Neighborhood Policing funding.

Visit this website for more background and photos from the re-build process: www.cabq.gov/apd-lowrider