It can – and does – look sometimes like a bowl of Fruity Pebbles out there.
Those pulling over for a fleet of first-responders – a few Spokane Valley blues, a dash of Spokane County sheriff’s greens, a white Washington State Patrol and a red fire truck or two – can easily be excused if they stop thinking about what the current emergency might be and more about that morning’s breakfast cereal.
The problem, if it is one, has been exacerbated in the city of Spokane Valley, where an effort has been made in the past few years to really lock down on what the color of municipal police vehicles. The idea is that a nearly 15-year-old city – even if it does contract with the sheriff’s office for law-enforcement services – should have its own unique look and feel.
“I’m all about having our own identity,” Council Member Sam Wood said at Tuesday’s meeting. “Maybe some don’t think or care about it, but I do.”
In that spirit, the council directed city staff and police officials to keep the light-blue police cars patrolling city streets – albeit with a slight modification.
Under its current contract, the city orders about seven new vehicles a year and phases out older ones as necessary. The bulk of the existing police cars now are of the light-blue variety
However, the color that has currently been chosen is one that Ford, the police cars’ make, may not continue much longer as a paint color. And, since the color is only applied sporadically, orders are filled at unpredictable times, said Morgan Koudelka, senior administrative analyst.
An option would be for the city to order white cars and have light-blue wraps – a vinyl covering instead of paints – applied locally. And while a full-body wrap could be applied to match the existing fleet, a two-tone partial wrap – at around $1,500 per car – would be even less money.
“The white with the partial wrap seemed liked a good alternative,” said Police Chief Mark Werner.
While Deputy Mayor Pam Haley floated the idea of simply going with white cars, the majority of the council liked the two-tone option with the light blue – albeit with the “Spokane Valley” logo being a bit larger.
“That’s a good-looking rig,” said Council Member Arne Woodard.