For the first time in more than 20 years, and the seventh time in our 76-year history, our marked police vehicles are getting a new look. The decision and design process began in 2011 when the search began to find a vehicle to replace the discontinued Ford Crown Victoria. Current police cruiser markings were introduced in 1993 and have since been a Fairfax County trademark.
Since the redesign project was approved, members of the department’s Resource Management Bureau (RMB) developed and considered several design options and patterns, narrowed it down to six possibilities then conducted numerous of presentations throughout the county to share information about the project and solicit feedback. RMB staff presented to sworn, civilian, volunteer and retired departmental staff, Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) groups and various other community member groups.
The two most well-liked designs were put up for final discussion within the Advance Design Review Group, a committee comprised of various patrol officers, RMB staff, department leadership, police retirees and CAC members. Together, they made a selection, hashed out a few final adjustments based on presentation feedback then approached the department’s current decal vendor to inquire about cost and implementation.
The only additional cost is the purchase and application of new reflective safety chevron decals. These will be applied across the length of the rear bumper of every marked police cruiser to enhance visibility and safety; a feature recommended in a 2009 FEMA publication, Emergency Vehicle Visibility and Conspicuity Study.
The first newly dressed cruisers will debut at police stations, countywide, in September. As new cruisers are procured and distributed among the county’s fleet, the new design will be applied to them. Existing cruisers and fleet vehicles will not be retrofitted with the new design; only new fleet vehicles will be affixed with the new markings. You will see the current design slowly phase out as older vehicles are placed out of service over the next few years.
Patrol cars are an iconic symbol of the police profession and our role in the community. We want our vehicles to project the professionalism and confidence of your emergency responders and increase safety through higher visibility features. The new exterior design provides a crisp, immediately recognizable image while providing added visibility for both officers and other drivers on the roadway.