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View Poll Results: What is the color of your squad car

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  • Black and white

    13 14.29%
  • White

    52 57.14%
  • Brown

    3 3.30%
  • Blue

    7 7.69%
  • Green

    2 2.20%
  • Maroon

    0 0%
  • Grey

    1 1.10%
  • Yellow

    0 0%
  • Other

    13 14.29%
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  1. #1
    Copper51's Avatar
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    Black and white squad article

    http://www.startribune.com/462/story/919904.html

    What's black and white and on patrol?
    Police cars in the traditional color combination are back in fashion in many area cities.

    By Darlene Prois, Star Tribune


    Cultural icons from Sheriff Andy Griffith of Mayberry to Detective Sgt. Joe Friday of "Dragnet" once drove black and whites, once the universal symbol of a cop car.
    But after the tumultuous 1960s tarnished the public's perception of law enforcement, police began opting for softer images -- squads in shades of blue, white or green.

    Now in Minnesota and across the nation, the vintage black and white is making a comeback.

    "The blue cars kind of melted in with a lot of other cars on the road, but the black and white you don't mistake," said Winona Police Chief Frank Pomeroy, whose department just ordered four new black and whites. "You know what you're seeing."

    From Anoka to Eden Prairie to Northfield, departments large and small have returned to the classic look.

    Across the country, orders for black and white squads increased by 20 percent -- more than 6,000 vehicles -- in the past model year, said Whitney Drake, a spokeswoman for Ford Motor Co., the leading supplier of police vehicles.

    Minnesota once outlawed the use of black on police cars, but the ban on black ended in 2002. Police aren't worried anymore about looking too tough.

    "There's an element of pride," said Edina Police Chief Michael Siitari, whose department has used several color schemes in the 28 years he's been there. "This is the officer's office. They're all happy with how they look now, which I cannot say about the multicolor cars of the past. These are the best-looking cars we've had, hands down."

    During black's banishment, police in the historic city of Anoka substituted navy blue.

    "Anoka is a town that is strong in tradition, and the tradition is black and white," said Anoka Chief of Police Edward Wilberg. "There was a time when people thought ill of us and we tried to look less authoritarian. Now people like knowing there's a police car with a police officer in there who will take command of the situation and help me."

    A universal symbol

    Hopkins Police Chief Craig Reid believes the city's two-toned squads are far more identifiable than the all-white squads they've replaced. Instant recognition is important when policing a city where 37 languages are spoken, he said.

    "There are a lot of companies that drive white cars," Reid said. "People may not be able to read the graphics on a single-tone car, but when they see the two-tone, they instantly know what it is."

    While cops seem to overwhelmingly prefer the distinctive tones, not everyone agrees they're the best choice.

    Dr. Stephen Solomon, an Owego, N.Y., optometrist who is a national expert on emergency vehicle safety, bemoans the increasing popularity of the two-tones. He thinks a single-tone light color, preferably light yellow, with significant use of retro-reflective fluorescent material, is far safer.

    "It's a trade-off," Solomon said about the trend. "It may improve your public relations and visibility in the community, but once that car leaves the curb and pulls into traffic, it's no longer a safe car. Black and white are two colors that don't easily stand out from the background. It's not an improvement, it's a step back."

    Many cops disagree.

    "The biggest detriment to safe travel for police vehicles is not the color," said Blaine Police Chief Dave Johnson. "It's stereos, cell phones and electronic devices in passenger vehicles. The leading cause of accidents is driver distraction."

    He thinks black and white has become the universal symbol for help.

    "Who has a black and white vehicle other than the Geek Squad?" Johnson said. "But when a police car is operating as an emergency vehicle, it has its lights and sirens on. No one is mistaking us for the Geek Squad."
    Darlene Prois 612-673-4280. dprois@startribune.com

    2007 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.



    Sorry but we are not a taxi service and I don't want bright yellow sqds, sometimes we need to blend in and not stick out like a sore thumb. Some people think all we do is sit on the freeways or at accident scenes. I personally think a sharp black and white squad is the best looking police car out there.

    My dept. cars are blue and white like the black and white scheme. It was said that our chief wanted blue and white so we look different than the neighboring cities. We have no reflective stickers. I like it that way because we go in darked out to some calls and it's officer safety that we don't glow in the dark.

    What are the paint schemes like on your patrol cars?
    The statements and opinions made here are of Copper51's only. They do not reflect my department or the city I work for.
    So lay off, I'm offduty and spouting off.

  2. #2
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    We just went back to Black and whites from all white. All of our cars are slick tops and they do look sweet. We have the reflective, but only on the sides.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  3. #3
    121Traffic's Avatar
    121Traffic is offline Just Us
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    I have been BEGGING for black and whites a my PD. My county is almost completely urban, with us and 5 other municipalities. The unincorporated areas are handled by the deputies, but it's mostly urban. 4 of those 5 other cities have BWs now. I want them so bad.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  4. #4
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copper51 View Post
    http://www.startribune.com/462/story/919904.html

    Dr. Stephen Solomon, an Owego, N.Y., optometrist who is a national expert on emergency vehicle safety, bemoans the increasing popularity of the two-tones. He thinks a single-tone light color, preferably light yellow, with significant use of retro-reflective fluorescent material, is far safer.
    You mean something like this?

    http://www.smileycollector.com/smileyphotos3.htm

    Last edited by Jenna; 01-08-07 at 09:51 AM.

  5. #5
    Jackalope's Avatar
    Jackalope is offline Yell O
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    When I was an Explorer the department used dark green cars specifically to blend in. If they wanted to be visible, they turned on their lights.

    I don't understand the parallel that Dr. Solomon makes between high visibility and safety. It's just a car. If the officer is just driving normally, the car doesn't need to be any more visible than any other car on the road. If he needs to get people's attention, that's what the lights are for.

    Besides that, many departments have found that switching to black and white cars makes people think that there is a bigger police presence in their neighborhood, even though the number of patrols is the same.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  6. #6
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    My department has dark navy blue.....all lights are internal and they work great at night parked in a dark area people dont see me even with the reflective strips

  7. #7
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    Our department went to black and white several years ago.

    They used to be green and white.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

  8. #8
    10-42Adam's Avatar
    10-42Adam is offline Major
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    The state I reside in has a bunch of different looking cars for all the seperate agencies. Our city cars are black and white though and our city cars look the toughest by far. That could have something to do with the push bars they have up front also, though. No other agency in my state has push bumpers except for our city police.

    I love the look of our State Police cars and they're dark blue with gold lettering and graphics. I think it looks really good...
    Calm Like A Bomb...

    A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.
    -Winston Churchill

  9. #9
    Ducky's Avatar
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    City - White with blue
    County - white and silver-ish
    State - Silver with blue

    Both county and city (I think) use solid white for most of the unmarked. Distinctive in their own way.

    I just tried to think of the last time I saw a black and white, and I can't remember.
    \\
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    "...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
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  10. #10
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
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    Council Bluffs Police


    Iowa State Patrol


    I was unable to find a picture of the vehicles used by county and I see one most every day.

  11. #11
    Ducky's Avatar
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    About that 'yellow' car thing. Lexington county, SC has this offputting spoiled mustard yellow color going. It's bad enough that I asked a couple of officers if their department lost a bet. Their website makes the cars look like a pale cream, but trust me, they're not.
    \\
    ` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
    `` ` ` ` (3--(____)
    "...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtN1YnoL46Q


  12. #12
    Motorwaycop's Avatar
    Motorwaycop is offline Retired Plod
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    C'mon guys get with it.

    Black and white is so last year!

    You need the new and improved 21 century look!

    the sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.
    ( Baltasar Gracian )

  13. #13
    bufford408's Avatar
    bufford408 is offline Just green and furry all over
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorwaycop View Post
    C'mon guys get with it.

    Black and white is so last year!

    You need the new and improved 21 century look!



    The opinions of my posts are the sole responsibilty of my employer due to the fact that they have totally and completely warped my mind.



    .

  14. #14
    Copper51's Avatar
    Copper51 is offline Up all night
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorwaycop View Post
    C'mon guys get with it.

    Black and white is so last year!

    You need the new and improved 21 century look!

    Looks like you could play checkers on the side of that car.
    The statements and opinions made here are of Copper51's only. They do not reflect my department or the city I work for.
    So lay off, I'm offduty and spouting off.

  15. #15
    Motorwaycop's Avatar
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    Just for you bufford another one!

    the sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.
    ( Baltasar Gracian )

  16. #16
    bufford408's Avatar
    bufford408 is offline Just green and furry all over
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorwaycop View Post
    Just for you bufford another one!

    Checkers anyone?
    The opinions of my posts are the sole responsibilty of my employer due to the fact that they have totally and completely warped my mind.



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  17. #17
    Motorwaycop's Avatar
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    On the other hand we could go back in time!

    the sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.
    ( Baltasar Gracian )

  18. #18
    bufford408's Avatar
    bufford408 is offline Just green and furry all over
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    Here is an old pic of our state police. I dont have one of mine.


    Attachment 558
    Last edited by bufford408; 01-08-07 at 08:30 PM.
    The opinions of my posts are the sole responsibilty of my employer due to the fact that they have totally and completely warped my mind.



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  19. #19
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorwaycop View Post
    On the other hand we could go back in time!

    Did that actually have an engine or did the officers just stick their foot through the floorboards and push?
    \\
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    "...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtN1YnoL46Q


  20. #20
    BabyGirl is offline Rookie
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    My city officers drive the dark blue cars,and when they drive down a street with their lights off looking for someone at night, you never see or hear them till their right there.

 

 
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