Fresh look for Smithfield cruisers

Fresh look for Smithfield cruisers

New Smithfield police cruiser.

SMITHFIELD - Those gray police cruisers long familiar to town residents are about to be gussied up with some arresting new colors.

According to Chief Richard St. Sauveur Jr., the four newest of the fleet's 17 marked vehicles will initially carry the sportier design, and the revised look will be ordered for all cruisers bought in the future.

The department's three unmarked vehicles will continue to operate incognito.

The new color scheme - the first such change since 1992 - features a silver body accented with black on the front and rear ends.

The word "Police," formerly white on a blue background, will be more prominently displayed in silver and black. In another change, St. Sauveur said cruisers will display the town seal instead of the police uniform shoulder patch, stressing the department's dedication to the entire community.

He said one of two new Ford SUVs has already been re-painted, and another, along with two low-mileage Ford Crown Victorias, will also have a makeover.

The new look for up to 13 other cruisers will appear gradually through attrition as new vehicles are added and others are retired over the next three years, St. Sauveur said.

The initial repainting costs, $900 per vehicle, are being taken from outside grants, not tax money, he said, adding that new cruisers can be ordered with the revised colors at no additional cost.

St. Sauveur said the new design, worked out by the police Fleet Committee, is a means of strengthening the department's morale and spirit while giving its public image a fresh look.

He said he has notified neighboring police departments and the State Police of the changes to avoid any confusion over the legitimacy of the redesigned vehicles.

The color change is not the only one ahead for police cars, because Ford has halted production of its law enforcement workhorse, the Crown Victoria. For its most recent alternative purchases, the local department has turned to Ford SUVs.

Old Smithfield police cruiser.