The Port Washington Police Department is taking on a decidedly retro look.
The department’s newest squad car, a 2013 Chevrolet Impala, is causing heads to turn with its traditional black-and-white color scheme.
“A lot of people noticed it right away,” Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said. “So far, everyone’s been positive about it.”
While the look may be retro, the vehicle certainly isn’t. The car carries the complete line of accoutrements found in modern law-enforcement vehicles, including a laptop computer.
The department decided last fall to move away from the dark blue color scheme it has been using for years, Hingiss said.
“The majority of the officers had wanted it for quite some time,” he said of the new color scheme. “For me, I looked at it as something fresh and updated. It’s been a long time since we changed the look of the cars.”
As the department replaces its older vehicles, the black-and-white vehicles will become standard.
The next vehicle to be replaced will be the Dodge Durango used by the department’s command staff. It will be replaced with a black-and-white Ford Interceptor, which Hingiss said is similar to an Explorer.
The new squad car has been on the streets for about two weeks, and officers have given the new look a thumbs up, Hingiss said.
“They like it very much,” he said. “We didn’t go with a totally retro, ‘Adam 12’ look. It’s black and white, but a more modern black and white.”
Still, there’s no mistaking the car when officers are on patrol or running radar.
“It really stands out. There’s no doubt it’s a police car,” Hingiss said.
That, he said, is a good thing.
“I think it’s better if we’re visible,” Hingiss said. “If the car is visible and people see us and know we’re out in the community, we’re less likely to have problems occurring.”
PORT WASHINGTON POLICE Captain Mike Keller showed off the department’s newest squad car, which has a decidedly retro, black-and-white color scheme instead of the dark blue that has been used for decades. Photo by Sam Arendt