Custom Search

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Black and White Squad Cars

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.


Blogger Bob said...

When I was a kid and moved from the farm to Saint Paul in the early 70's the squad cars were Black and white.

When I first moved to the cities when ever I seen a squad car I would wave to the officers and I never once got a wave back. Down home the police are friendly to this day and engage citizens whenever they have the oppurtunity to. So I was a little shocked at the unfriendliness of peace officers in the big city.

There was some controversy back then about the image of the Saint Paul Police Department being to aggressive with citizens and they wanted to change this image and the start to this change was the color of the squad cars. They were painted light blue. This was suppose to be a less threatening color.

Some years later the squad cars where painted white with the gold letters, you know the color we are all use to seeing on our city's squad cars. Well now there is a move to bring back the black and whites. Are we bringing back the intimidation factor also?

Maybe one of our enlightened posters can fill us in on the psychology behind the color change.

I was able to get an image of one of the new cars color scheme. :-)

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just talked with my neighbor who's a city cop and was informed that the city hasn't purchased any squads in the last three of four years. Minneapolis and St Paul has decided to go back to the black and whites in a decision that matches the trend nationally as well as regionally (our suburbs started moving back to black and white in recent years too). Its a move that give uniformity to law enforcement across the area.

Nothing nefarious.


10:48 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Thanks Eric..

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is police state bullsh*t bob and you know it!

i just talked to my cousin who is a deputy sheriff in washington county, he doesn't know what your talking about eric.

why not pink and white squad cars?

we should start a call in campaign to other police depatments and see if they heard of this sh*t eric is talking about.

my bet is, this stuff is coming from the city concil and their puppet harrington. the police have been complaining of citizens being aggressive with them.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Real funny Bob......!

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mistake number one is talking to a deputy about police work. Just kidding.

Second mistake is to attach this to me. Like I said, i went out to the backyard where our kids are playing this morning and the exact question. I got an answer and relayed it. You come back with more conspiracy and nothing to back it up. You don't even have the 'why' part of the conspiracy together, only your worthless opinion on the Chief and city. What if this is a national trend that's been going on for three or four years?

A Washington county deputy giving his opinion on the action of city cops in another county is no a solid source. However, being near some of the law enforcement controversy, I know why some in Washington County feel the need to speculate. Seems that deputy's guy lost the Sheriff's race.

As far as checking out what I said:
Minneapolis had this release over two months ago on their switch:

There was an article about Fergus Falls doing it back in March:

And USA Today made note that NATIONALLY police cars are going back to black and white back in late 2005:

There's plenty of proof for you to look through. You got anything to back up your claim?

No of course not but, facts and proof are too burdensome for your conspiracy aren't they?


11:34 AM  
Blogger AMANDA said...

11:15 use more tin foil. Don't feel bad, you have company here.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous click here said...

It's all about visability.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like 11:15 tucked his tail and ran!

Bob, you have a way of bringing out the kooks. :)

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe minneaplolis and st.paul want to look alike because Coleman and Rybak are playing buts and weiners.What ever happened to one city teying to be better than the other.Get the lube Coleman and Rybak.


2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, by chance are you related to Bill Dahn?

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a national police newsletter ( January 2007:

Back in Black: Police cars go retro

Law enforcement is a profession of trends and traditions. Few traditions are more identifiable than the black and white police car. In the 90’s, agencies that once sported black and white cars began converting to solid white, green or blue. In recent years, black-and-whites have made a comeback, and street officers are rejoicing.

Black and white was not always the tradition. As police vehicles became a mainstay in the United States, most of them were a solid color. In an effort to stand out from the general civilian car, many departments utilized a black car and simply added a white stripe. Ford started making extra-durable police package cars in 1950, and the black and white paint scheme soon followed. By the1960's, black-and-whites were everywhere, further mythologized by TV police shows like Adam 12 and Andy Griffith.

In the 1990’s, many departments converted to solid-colored cars. As local governments battled increasing demands and lower budgets, the traditional black and white was eliminated in favor of cost-efficient solids. White cars soon became standard. Emblems that had often been simplified for the readily recognizable black and white scheme often were now embelleshed and enlarged so citizens could recognize white cars as police cars.

But in the past few years, the trend has reversed. Black and white is making a comeback. Cost is no longer a prohibitive factor. Manufacturers, aware of agency constraints, quote less than a $500 increase for each car with the traditional paint job. Cash-strapped police departments around the country are getting creative with their bottom line: Mesa, Arizona purchased smaller hubcaps to offset the $400 increase; Fond du Lac, Wisconsin offset $300 each by opting for a less complicated graphics package. With a few pocket windfalls and overwhelming enthusiasm, the popularity of black and white cars is approaching an all-time high.

But why bring them back? Public recognition tops the list. For instance, the concept of community policing relies heavily on the active participation of citizens to solve community-wide problems. The street officer must maintain a high degree of visibility in order to collaborate and build relationships with these citizens. To this end, having a recognizable police vehicle makes a lot of sense.

Captain Tim Johnson of the Sunnyvale (CA) PD has done extensive research on this topic. He finds that, not only does the public have a positive response to black and white cars, but that officers who drive them are seen as more approachable. Indeed, recent surveys suggest that nearly every department using black and white cars cite increased visibility and accessibility as the main selling points.

Other factors are cited, as well. When the Costa Mesa (CA) PD began reverting to black and white cars in 2004, the public began asking if more cops were on the streets. Lieutenant Karl Schuler of Costa Mesa believes that the traditional look is a great way to make the community feel more secure. In fact, the Winnemucca, Nevada PD credits their black-and-whites with not only giving the appearance of more officers, but also reducing certain crimes in their small town.

With the traditional look, it appears that an increase in officer morale follows. Officers from across the country have overwhelmingly supported a change to black and white cars. A recent vote in a large Midwest municipal police department revealed that 83% of the officers were strongly in favor of transitioning to a black and white vehicle. The popularity of black and white cars by the officers has a positive impact on any administrator that chooses to make the change.

Ed Nowicki, the Executive Director of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), is a proponent of a unilateral switch. “A black and white car would clearly represent law enforcement in the same manner that people know that fire trucks are red,” he says. Mr. Nowicki emphasizes that a standard LE vehicle would not only help prevent the impersonation of an officer, but would also give citizens the added comfort of seeing a “united front” in law enforcement.

Whether it is community relations, better visibility, tradition or perception, black and white police cars appear, once again, to be making their cultural mark on American law enforcement. In the fast-paced, technology-driven police culture, the simple tradition of a black and white car is a welcome sight.

Captain Travis Yates commands the Precision Driver Training Unit with the Tulsa, Okla. Police Department. He is a nationally recognized driving instructor and a certified instructor in tire deflation devices and the pursuit intervention technique. Capt. Yates has a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.


I'd like to know what washington county deputy is so out of touch with national trends that they are not aware of this. Especially since the biggest cities in Washington County (Stillwater, Forest Lake and Cottage Grove) have moved to black and white squads in recent years.


4:07 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I posted the link at 12:47 to

I was in a hurry to go for a bike ride and I didn't sign it.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the MN State Patrol has white over maroon on their newer vehicles, seems to fit right in with the trend, while keeping themselves distinct...

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mayberry black and whites, yep eee!

Bob, wave at the guys in the black and white police cars only.

6:52 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home