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2008 International Police Vehicle Design Contest

Written by Jennifer Gavigan

Today’s law enforcement officers face many different threats and risks whether on patrol or responding to emergency situations. It is imperative that police vehicles be instantly recognizable as emergency vehicles for the safety of both the officers and the citizens they protect. First and foremost, a police vehicle’s design should be about safety and identification. Agencies’ designs have also begun incorporating state, county and regional symbols, mission statements and mottos to represent the communities they serve.

Color schemes, as well as makes and models of police vehicles are changing to reflect the future of law enforcement. The traditional black-and-white color scheme is being replaced with solid, bolder, brighter colors. The Dodge Charger is fast becoming the vehicle of choice for some departments across the country.

This year’s contest was judged by three law enforcement professionals who are in various public safety positions. Deputy Chief Mack Sanders of the Markham, IL Police Department has been in law enforcement for 10 years, working mostly in the gang and drug unit. The city of Markham’s population is about 17,000, and the Markham Police employ 45 officers. Vicky Matyas-Smith has been the executive director for the Southwest Conference of Mayors for almost 16 years. The Southwest Conference of Mayors is composed of 21 municipalities in southwest Cook County, IL, representing a population in excess of 350,000. Dan Roudebush is the deputy sheriff of the Clinton County, IN Sheriff’s Office. Roudebush is also the president of the Indiana Town Marshal’s Association and a 14-year law enforcement veteran and instructor in multiple fields.

The 2008 contest was judged based on the integrity of the designs submitted, as well as how each design met the criteria as outlined in the contest guidelines. The response to this year’s competition was impressive with more than 400 entries, which made the judging difficult, especially in the popular Municipal 10 to 50 Officers category. LAW and ORDER would like to thank all the departments that submitted entries for the 2008 contest.

The 2008 Police Vehicle Design Contest judges focused on the safety of the officer driving and the ability to identify the automobile as a law enforcement vehicle. The overall appearance of the vehicle was, of course, factored into the results. The judges looked for departmental symbols, names in easy-to-read lettering, a badge, shield or community seal, emergency phone numbers and Web sites. For visibility, the judges looked for reflective tape and decals. The traditional two-tone paint scheme is still used effectively today, but many agencies are changing to solid cars with contrasting colors in their striping or lettering.

Grand Prize
Pendleton Police Department Pendleton, IN
The Pendleton Police used the black-and-white color combo to reflect the true origin of squad cars but gave it a modern flair by mimicking the new Dodge Super Bee sticker package. The agency chose the flat black over reflective for a more stealth look at night. A subtle silver reflective stripe outlines the black. The rear quarter panel features an image of the town’s waterfall.

Judges’ comments: We like the hood and the very unique design. The black quarter panel flows well with the spoiler. The car is easily identifiable as police, but not overly done. It looks like “pure aggressiveness.” This Charger is nostalgic, yet hip—the complete package.

Municipal Over 50 Officers, East Officers, East
First Place Forest Park Police Department Forest Park, GA
This is Forest Park’s first Dodge Charger purchase. The officers desired a fresh look that demonstrated professionalism, integrity, honesty and vision for the future. The patrol vehicle’s new design represents the agency’s commitment to the community as the colors burgundy and gold match the local high school. The lettering is bold and displays forward motion that is indicative of the agency’s mission statement. The CALEA and Georgia State Certification seals are symbols of professionalism.

Judges’ comments: This vehicle incorporates the local high school colors of burgundy and silver, which adds to the community feel. The overall design flows well.

Second Place
Gaston County Police Department Gastonia, NC
Originally, the Gaston County Police cars were two-color Fords with custom green over gray. Two years ago, the department went to a solid gray with a full-length green stripe. This allowed the use of a solid car and, more important, gave reflective capability to the length of the car as well as for the front and rear.

Judges’ comments: This car is a well-rounded package. The color choice is not overstated but definitely well put-together. It’s old school but with a bold design.

Municipal Over 50 Officers, West
First Place Euless Police Department Euless, TX
The Euless Police wanted to redesign its patrol vehicles to incorporate the new motto, “That I may serve with honor.” The star logo was used because it is a signature trademark of the city, as it is displayed on many municipal signs and city buildings. The colors selected are a deep navy blue and silver. All the material is reflective for added safety, which includes the traffic striping on the front and rear bumpers.

Judges’ comments: The bold, aggressive look jumps out at you. The design factors in the community with the star. The reflective decals are placed effectively.

Second Place
Littleton Police Department Littleton, CO
In 2007, the Littleton Police Department adopted the new motto of “Littleton Police: Heroes Everyday.” On the side of the car a blue line is clearly visible and extends the length of the vehicle. The badge and the “LITTLETON POLICE” banner are bold and visible. On the rear of the vehicle their Web site is prominently displayed, making them approachable and encouraging communication with the community. The CALEA accreditation emblem demonstrates commitment to excellence.

Judges’ comments: This vehicle’s design is subtle, yet it works well. It meets many criteria, including easy-to-read lettering.

Published in Law and Order, Aug 2008

Rating : 5.0


Comments

Comment on This Article

Hendon Publications

By Diane Ritchey

All of the winners of the Police Vehicle Design Contest are online. Please see http://www.hendonpub.com/publications/lawandorder/, under Other Features.

Submitted Sep 16 at 9:29 AM

Hendon Publications

By Diane Ritchey

All of the winners of the Police Vehicle Design Contest are posted. Please see http://www.hendonpub.com/publications/lawandorder/, under Other Features.

Submitted Sep 16 at 9:28 AM

Where are the other winners?

By Mike

I would like to know why the other winners are not posted?

Submitted Sep 13 at 3:20 PM

President

By Trace R George

I think that these winning designs are very poor. Who picks these designs..GraphixShoppe? because they created them.?

Submitted Sep 6 at 10:34 AM

???????????

By Steve

I am a little unsure about the judging criteria now. What was written in the criteria is not what I see with the winners. Mind you, most of the cars are nice, but the grand prize winner doesnt even use reflective letters on the side. They said it was done to be stealthy? You want stealthy, use an unmarked patrol vehicle. This contest is about visibility, and reflectivity, along with some originality and taste. Im dumb-founded..... But congrats to the winners!! None of this is their fault.

Submitted Sep 1 at 12:05 PM

I Agree

By Jeff

I agree with the majority of the comments. The winning cars had very little originality. I personally voted this year and there were much better cars then these. The Gaston County car is particularly boring and their entry doesnt even have a light bar!

Submitted Aug 29 at 4:36 PM

CAR DESIGNS CONTEST

By RICH

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW OUT OF THE JUDGES WHO DECIDED GASTON COUNTY WAS OVERALL A WELL ROUNDED VEHICLE ITS DECISION MAKING LIKE THIS THAT MAKES THIS CONTEST LOSE ITS RESPECT FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES THAT PARTICIPATE FOR THIS CONTEST HENCE THE REASON WHY EVERY YEAR THERE ARE FEWER ENTRIES WAY TO GO JUDGES MAYBE WE CAN CONTACT ANOTHER POLICE MAGAZINE COMPANY A RUN A CONTEST THE CORRECT WAY

Submitted Aug 28 at 9:26 PM

Nascar Designs

By Dave

I know its the 21st century and change is inevitable and sometimes good. But, I think many of this years entries have gotten away from the functional police car look and adopted more of a NASCAR Show Car look. Nice to look at, but not always practical.

Submitted Aug 28 at 10:53 AM

Where are the other winners?

By Other Bob

Where are the winners from other categories? And what about the Peoples Choice awards?

Submitted Aug 25 at 12:08 PM

Dodge runs away with awards

By Todd

Looks like Dodge has run away with the awards this year. For those officers who use the Dodge Charger on a daily basis, we all know why Dodge is leading the path. Outstanding design and hats off to Pendleton, IN. The officers of PPD, pride themselves in their appearance, and their vehicles reflect this as well. Congrats Pendleton!

Submitted Aug 25 at 5:00 AM

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