In 2008 the Urbandale Police Department converted their patrol vehicles from white Ford Crown Victoria to black and white Ford Crown Victoria. The graphics for the squads were also changed to complement the new style. The new graphic design utilizes both a red and black stripe on the white doors, and a new letter design making Urbandale Police more identifiable. The red stripe on the sides is made of a reflective material for an added safety measure. Several white letters on the squad are reflective as well.
A traditional black and white squad car must involve a black vehicle with at least 2 white doors (and up to 4), and sometimes a white roof. Squad cars with just a black hood and trunk on a white vehicle are considered to be a two-tone design. The Urbandale Police Department was one of the first agencies in this area to utilize a stripe along the entire length of a squad car. This black & white design began in the 1950's in California. The police television show Adam 12 featured this look on their squad cars during its taping from 1968-1975. The shows Adam 12 and Emergency! were created by some of the people involved with the police show Dragnet (1951+).
Return to Traditional Style
In the 1970's through the 1990’s, there was a mix in color schemes in municipal law enforcement agencies across the country. In the past decade, there has been a shift back to the traditional looking squad car designs. There were two primary reasons for this change to the look of the squad cars.
A Culture of Tradition
First, the black and white squads have a traditional look that the majority of our officers favored. It is important to show our employees part of the history of law enforcement and of the Urbandale Police Department in particular. Developing a culture of tradition, pride, and family helps make the workplace more enjoyable and unified. We believe that these changes help enhance officer morale and ultimately employee retention.
The second reason for the change is more practical. We believe that the traditional black and white style with our own graphic design will increase the visibility and recognition of our officers as they patrol and respond to calls for service. The use of reflective graphics also helps with officer safety while out on scene. We incorporated large vehicle identifying letters and numbers on the roofs of the squads to assist whenever aircraft may become involved in our police duties; for example, emergency communications with Life Flight or Mercy One in locating a safe landing area, media interactions at major incidents, and air support during a car chase.
New Look & Design
The Urbandale Police Department is very proud of this new look and design of our squad cars. Even as the return to traditional black and white design becomes more popular, our red and black color scheme helps maintain our unique identity. The newest addition to our fleet is the Ford Interceptor SUV.