Dallas police are switching to black and white cars after decades of driving white and blue. Police officials hope the new design will be more noticeable for citizens and criminals.
“We think that the black and white vehicle will provide greater visibility,” said Deputy Chief Randy Blankenbaker.
Dallas police currently drive white cars with wrap-around decals. The decals are customized for each brand of vehicle in the fleet. They vary in price from $945 to $1,400 per vehicle. If a vehicle suffers body damage, the entire wrap around decal often must be replaced.
The $325 decal package Dallas plans for black and white vehicles would be less complicated and could be used on any brand of vehicle.
Plus, body damage would not require an entire decal wrap.
“We’ll buy that individual decal, which saves us money, and it’s more efficient,” said Deputy Chief Blankenbaker.
He said damaged vehicles could return to service faster.
“It’s a sad day for the older officers as they think about the nostalgia of the car,” said Senior Cpl. Eddie Crawford, vice president of the Dallas Police Association.
Crawford said he has never driven anything but a white squad car.
“But if the safety of the officer is addressed and the citizens are aware that that’s a police car, if it works better from that standpoint, organizationally the Dallas Police Association is looking forward to this change," he said. "I’m sure the officers are, too. We’re turning a page, a new chapter.”
Dallas will purchase 266 black and white cars in the coming year. It will take four years to replace all 1,000 marked vehicles in the city fleet.
Fort Worth and several other North Texas cities already operate black and white police cars.