By Billy Ingle
Getting a new car can be an exciting experience. For the police force, cars are tools to help its do its job.
Around the Texas Tech University campus and Lubbock, new police cruisers are out on the roads. Police Chief Kyle Bonath of the Texas Tech Police Department said its new police cruisers remain all white, with subtle changes in the markings.
According to How Stuff Works, in the United States, there is no unified criteria or standard for painting police cars, so each state, agency or municipality determines how its cars will be painted.
“The new cruisers look more modern with an updated look,” Bonath said. “TTPD worked with the graphic designer from Texas Tech University Office of Communications and Marketing to update the vehicle graphics.”
The police department added four new vehicles total, Bonath said, including two Ford Explorers and two Chevy Tahoes.
Bonath said the police department will not be remarking any old vehicles, but instead will be slowly phasing in the new decals as it gets new cruisers. He said because the department worked with Texas Tech’s graphic design team, it did not cost anything to acquire the new design.
When cruisers begin to get high mileage, start to get old or require major repair, the department works on getting the car replaced, Bonath said. The old cruisers can either be put to use somewhere else within the department or university, or donated to other police departments.
Sergeant Scott Farmer, the logistics officer for the Lubbock Police Department, said it has new police cruisers come in every year.
“We have to make these cars work for 5 to 6 years,” Farmer said. “When a car is older, has high mileage, has high engine hours and requires a lot of maintenance cost, you have to look at being financially responsible and cutting your losses.”
The Lubbock police department does have money budgeted to buy new police cruisers, Farmer said. The department comes up with a budget of how many cars it thinks it will need for the year, which will then be adjusted or approved by the city council.
Farmer said it is very important the police have up-to-date cruisers and equipment, to help ensure they are doing their jobs to their best potential. He said without good equipment it is possible that response time for the police could take longer.
There are multiple types of cars at the police station, but the Chevy Tahoe is the main car used by the department, Farmer said.
Farmer said for every new cruiser the department gets, it has to turn one into the city. He said it can be either redistributed for another purpose for the city, it can be donated or it can be sold at an auction.
Kyle Dutton, a senior accounting major, said it is good to see the new cruisers on the road.
Dutton said his father is a police officer in Austin, Texas, and knows how important equipment is for law enforcement.
“It is nice to see the police using their money for equipment to help them facilitate their duties,” Dutton said.
Seeing a new police cruiser can be more intimidating to people committing crimes, Dutton said. It can also help give off a sense of security to students.