The new design was developed with input from all members of the department. There were two main factors driving the decision to change from the dark blue and silver to a black and white design. The blue and silver patrol cars came to the department from General Motors painted a solid silver color. The department then sent the patrol car off to a local body shop to have the dark blue paint applied. This was not only a time consuming process, but was also costly. Once a patrol car was retired from service as a police vehicle, often times the City recycled the vehicle for use by other City departments. To assure that the vehicle was not mistaken for a patrol car, while used by other City staff, such as recreation department employees, it was once again sent off to be repainted, incurring additional cost. The black and white units are ordered solid black in color with the graphics and lettering being decals, that are easily removed once the vehicle is retired from service. This will save approximately $1,000 to $1,200 per vehicle. With an average replacement of 4 vehicles per year the savings over several years will be significant.
The change was also made as there was a desire to update our vehicle design to a more modern and contemporary appearance. The black and white patrol car design dates back for generations. Our black and white design is based on this tradition, but with a more modernized angular graphic design. The reflective material used in the graphics will assure high visibility during day and night conditions.
The staff of the Lafayette Police Department is pleased witih the appearance of the new vehicle and is anxious to get it out into service. Two new Tahoes are already in service with two new Chevrolet Caprices on their way, with an anticipated delivery date in August of 2012.