Minneapolis Police Squad Cars Get New Look, Go High Tech

Tried-and-true black and white design will help increase police visibility throughout the city.

by / April 30, 2008

The Minneapolis Police Department unveiled a new retro-designed, high-tech patrol car April 29 that features black front and back ends with a large police badge on a white midsection. If this design looks familiar, it's because it is. The black and white design was last seen on Minneapolis streets in 1973, before the all-white design hit the streets in 1974. Going back to the tried-and-true black and white design will help increase police visibility throughout the city. The MPD will gradually replace its fleet of approximately 200 squad cars with these redesigned Fords.

The new MPD squads will also introduce a new motto that highlights officers' deep dedication to their work and commitment to the people in the community: To Protect with Courage, To Serve with Compassion.

The new squad cars will have enhanced mobile data computers with an on-board digital camera system that permits automatic continuous video data collection, removing the possibility for human error in turning the cameras on and off. The squads will be equipped with the new 911 computer automated dispatch system, which allows officers to get more accurate information quickly.

Some cars will use traffic signal preemptors, making it possible for traffic lights to be changed to green for emergency responders. New, low frequency sirens aren't just heard, but also felt as a vibration. Some other squad cars will also test a license plate recognition system, which can help police find stolen vehicles and identify convicted felons, wanted individuals and vehicles involved in Amber Alerts.