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Fairmont Police Department: Squad cars get new design

The former Fairmont Police Department squad car design, left, sits next to the new design, right, in front of the Martin County Courthouse in Fairmont.

After updating their department patch in April the Fairmont Police Department is now moving to update their squad cars. The new all-black design stands out as sleek and modern compared to the traditional black and white color scheme, and also provides the department with some needed cost savings. Chief Michael Hunter explains how the new design came about.

“In February 2017 at one of our department meetings, we started talking about our 2020 plan,” he said. “One of the conversations had to do with updating our squad car design, so we started looking at when we were going to be switching the largest amount of cars over, which was going to be 2019 through 2020.

“We originally supposed to have two 2019’s come in, then that got canceled by Ford because they were updating the Ford Explorer in 2020. Production numbers then became limited during 2019, so it worked out that during 2020 we were going to have five news squad cars show up, which was outside of our regular rotation. That posed some interesting challenges, but gave us some interesting opportunities.”

At that point, the department felt it would be the best time to switch over to the new squad car design. One of those new designs is currently out on the streets, with a second to arrive shortly, and three more will arrive later in the year.

“Our current squad car design with the traditional black and white started back in the mid-2000s. When Ford ended the production of the Crown Victoria’s, we switched over to the Ford Explorers, which are nice all-wheel-drive sport utilities which work well for us as a primary squad car. We continued with the same design as we updated to the Ford Explorers.

“With the update of the design in 2020 by Ford Motor Company, we ran into a couple of challenges with some of the equipment we had in our squads. With the minor changes in the designs, some of our equipment didn’t fit into the new 2020s. The primary piece of equipment that needed to be updated was the rear cages that we have for transporting people in our squad cars. “

In looking to offset costs for the cage updates, Hunter stated that one of the things they looked at was switching from the traditional black and white design, at an extra cost of $800, to an all-black design.

“By switching to the all-black design, we were able to find something that helped us save that change-over cost and meet what we were looking to do with this project of getting a new squad car design for our community,” he said.

The department started working with a couple of different companies, finally settling with a company in Eagen, Minnesota, that was able to help find a design that represents the department and the community.

“It’s unique to the city of Fairmont and we wanted something to stand out as a Fairmont squad car, without being confused with any of the surrounding agencies,” he said. “The design includes our new department patch that we rolled out in April, the American flag on one of the pillars, and we’re switching over to our Support Our Troops plates to honor the veterans from the Martin County Area.

“Overall, we’re very happy with the design, he continued. It’s unique to Fairmont, and it’s unique to our community.”

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