Troy police car to be black and white
TROY - As part of Troy Police Chief Jarvis Burlingame's "high visibility prevention" approach to policing in the borough, a change will be made to the appearance of the borough's recently-purchased police car.
According to Burlingame, the car will be painted black and white, with decals added.
The decision regarding the changes to the car was made in a split vote at this month's borough council meeting.
Previously, at the December council meeting, council agreed to get some quotes for the painting of the police car in an old-fashioned, black and white "Los Angeles Police Department" style. Mayor Mike Powers had relayed Burlingame's request regarding the car to council last year.
At this month's meeting, borough manager Dan Close reported that the cost estimate to give the car this look is $2,397.88.
A discussion took place regarding the request.
Close spoke about Burlingame's approach to coverage.
"He feels that high patrol, high visibility prevents, rather than trying to not be noticed, and then catch somebody doing something," Close said. "Again, I don't want that to come out wrong. I think it's a good approach. It's the kind of approach council has leaned toward."
"And that's part of his reasoning for the black and white look," Close explained.
"We have invested quite a bit in the police department in the last few months, admittedly, but I think it's all been good," Close said. "I've met with very positive feedback on the changes in regards to uniforms, personnel, visibility. I just think it's working very well. And Chief Burlingame thinks it's working very well. In my discussions with council, I think most of council thinks it's working very well."
Close asked for a discussion on the "black and white" request.
"Let's get a motion on the floor and a second, and then we'll open for discussion," Close instructed council.
Council member Mike Davison then made a motion to accept the bid to "complete the cruiser," with council member Jim Warn seconding it.
"I just want to say, I think that's a positive move," Warn said. "Visibility with the police department is key." He said a police car parked along the highway, for example, slows down traffic, even when an officer isn't in the vehicle.
Council member Jen Malehorn asked about other options, like "a sign shop doing something with decals versus a full paint job."
"Well, Jen, they want to do decals anyway," Close told her. "The decal they get will depend on whether they're going to go with black and white, or not."
Malehorn and council member Krystle Bristol said they wanted some more information.
As council considered what action to take, Davison stated, "I don't want to get into the micromanaging of it, we're supposed to approve things and have it done as suggested, and now we're decorating the police car."
Close said he agreed with Davison, "with all due respect to all of council."
"Chief Burlingame is a responsible individual," Close said.
"All council really needs to decide at this point is whether they want a black and white or an all white with decal," Close instructed council.
"You're going to nickel-dime it, I don't knowâ¦I'd rather just get on with it and let them move with their intent of what they wanted to do," Davison said.
Council then asked for comments from the public.
Resident Jack Hulslander said, "what difference does it make what color it is? As long as it's got good decals on it, it's visible."
"In other words, it should be spent on other things that need doing," he said. "Why spend $2-$3,000 to get it painted on top of that? You got the car at a reasonable price, let's keep it a reasonable car. That's my comment."
Council then passed the motion to make it black and white, with decals, with council members Davison, Warn, Ives, and Veronica Seymour voting yes and Malehorn and Bristol voting no. Council president Jason Hodlofski was absent.
"It will be black and white," Ives said following the vote.
When asked for comment, Bristol explained her vote.
"I voted no because we just bought the department new uniforms and the Crown Victoria, and just putting decals on the car at this time would have been sufficient (approximately $500)," she said in an email, when asked for comment. "Spending that much on the paint job seemed a bit excessive to me." She also wanted to see a written quote.
Malehorn could not be reached for comment.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.