New design has Whitehall police vehicles looking 'sharp'
A bold black stripe, outlined in gold, streaks across the side of the vehicle. At night, the modern, edgy design reflects for anyone to see.
“We've gotten so many comments on the car. People are saying that the cars really look nice and really sharp,” Whitehall police Deputy Chief Richard Danko said.
After nearly 30 years of a more simplified look, Whitehall police changed the design of their vehicles, Danko said. The design earned the department's two Ford Interceptor sport utility vehicles that debuted in 2012 the title of “Best SUVs” in the 2013 police-vehicle design contest by Law and Order, a magazine for police management.
The contest was judged by law-enforcement and industry professionals.
“This is phenomenal,” Chief Donald Dolfi said. “I can't say that when we did the new design that we thought it would have this kind of outcome.”
The design was prompted by the retirement of Ford Motor Co.'s Crown Victoria nearly two years ago.
The Whitehall Police Department had varying makes and styles of vehicles over the years. The Crown Vic, the cruiser of choice for police forces nationwide for many years, became a staple, Danko said.
“Fords have been so-called ‘good to us' so far,” Danko said. “We stayed with the same design and car for years.”
The car offered stability, Dolfi said. “It's like a meatloaf dinner,” he said. “When you think of a home-cooked dinner and you think of things that are always there, that are staples in your life. It was there with the Crown Vics with their entire run.”
Since there was a need to switch vehicles, Danko said, the decision was made to change looks.
The department specified to graphic designers from Ibis Tek that the hood and deck needed to be black and the police patch needed to be visible on the side panel.
“We got to launch a vehicle that still has our tradition, but when it rides down the road, maybe makes people turn their head around once or twice,” Dolfi said.
Officer input helped the chiefs select the design.
“It looks nice,” Officer Dan Bowman said. “The look's the most important part. It's the first step to the 21st century.”
Though many manufacturers design police pursuit vehicles, Whitehall leaders opted to stay with Ford, Danko said. They selected the Interceptor because of its size, comfort and ability to hold equipment.
Other South Hills police departments are changing vehicles and their designs as a result of losing the Crown Vic.
Brentwood police recently purchased two Taurus-style police Interceptors, police Chief Robert Butelli said. The midnight blue car accented with a white logo replaces a plain design that looked similar to state police cars, which Brentwood had since 2001.
Butelli wanted something distinctive: “It sets us apart from the others.”
Pleasant Hills police kept their traditional design but purchased equipment for the new Taurus-style and SUV police Interceptors. The department purchased one of each, police Chief Edward Cunningham said.
Pleasant Hills purchased one of each vehicle to determine which would work better for officers, he said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.