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This Richmond police officer has a unique weapon to help drivers

RICHMOND, Va. -- For more than two decades master police officer Tim Wade has patrolled the streets of Richmond in his mobile office, a marked police car.

"Patrolling every day, up to 10 hours a day in your car, you just see things as you go along and decide to take a little action about it," said Wade.

But he's not always out looking for the bad guys, sometimes he's looking for a different kind of violation.

"If I could get something done myself, I'd rather just take care of it right then and there," said Wade while reaching into the front floorboard of his cruiser.

Wade is one of the few police officers who is armed with a unique weapon, loppers.

"I have actually broken quite a few. I had to buy quite a few the last few years," said Wade.

While solving crimes is key to his job description so is protecting the public. So, he pulls out the loppers when he finds a stop sign hidden by limbs and leaves.

"Well, I've passed this sign a couple of times," said Patricia Ruiz, who admitted she's missed a well-hidden stop sign in the past. "I didn't see it until like, like the end and I'm like, oh I just missed the sign."

But this week officer Wade made sure the sign can be seen from a distance, no longer hidden from view by brush.

It marked the third one he's cleared this week.

The veteran officer said he's learned over the years while spending a few minutes outside the patrol car, people are more apt to walk up and talk with him, versus when he's in his patrol car

"They just feel more comfortable speaking with me and next thing you know, they say he can I tell you about something going on in the neighborhood."