Monday, July 29, 2002

Showier Norwood police cruisers could replace fleet

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NORWOOD - The new flashy black-and-white cars brandish stacked blue stripes along their sides, American flags and “”

A new Norwood police car is parked beside an old one.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
        The city's three new police cruisers officially debuted last week in the city's Norwood Day Parade and sport a more modern, showier design than the older cruisers. The older cars are painted white and have a minimalist's gold stripe along the bottom of their doors.

        The entire seven-car traffic fleet could have the new look within the next few years.

        Police Chief William Schlie said he will approach council members within the next month about purchasing three more cruisers with the new design.

        Mayor Joe Hochbein and other council members have already said that they favor the new design. When they supported the purchase of the latest additions, they agreed with other city officials that they needed a design that would make potential traffic violators take notice and obey traffic laws.

        The new design is “so when people see it, they think (they) better slow down,” Chief Schlie said. “You want it to be recognizable. You want people to know that their streets are being patrolled. It'll be a nice visible car.”

        The city tries to purchase three new cruisers per year. The Ford Crown Victorias cost about $25,000 each - about $15,000 for the car and $10,000 to be specially designed and outfitted with radars, radios, cages and computers.

        Councilman Thomas Williams, who served more than 30 years as a Norwood police officer, has left City Hall and seen residents swivel their heads to get a better look at the new cruisers. He prefers the modern design to the cruisers he drove in his day. He expects to grant Chief Schlie's upcoming request.

        “The old concept used to be (that) you don't want them to see us,” Mr. Williams said.

        “In reality, you want that vehicle to stand out, so everybody knows what it is. A lot of people take pride in what those police vehicles look like.”

        Jack Cameron, the city's safety-service director, agreed.

        “It'll help the image of the police,” he said. "The old concept used to be (that) you don't want them to see us. In reality, you want that vehicle to stand out, so everybody knows what it is.'


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