City Government

Boise PD Gets Iconic Makeover For Man & Machine

Like a scene from the television show “Extreme Makeover,” Boise PD had a media event Friday to rollout new patrol cars and shoulder patches. With yelps of a siren and LED lights flashing, the first new “BLACK VELVET” patrol car rolled up sporting a silver “swoosh” on the door that looks like it had creative roots with Nike.

With several dozen coppers standing by, the media was treated to a brief history of the BPD insignia patch and patrol cars of the past. All the players who worked on the committee to select the Dodge Chargers were on hand. LED lights (which are manufactured locally) adorn the black velvet muscle cars along with massive cow-catcher push bars in the front designed to reduce damage during those PIT maneuvers where coppers push violators off the road when they won’t stop.

The new patches–a remake of the current patch designed by everyone’s favorite local politico and copper Vern Bisterfeldt–are an update of the familiar design of the Capitol building, but sport an American flag. Bisterfeldt is credited with designing the original patch during his night shift duties some 50 years ago.

The 20 “Black Velvets” cost taxpayers $490,000 ($24,500 each) and are expected to replace the entire fleet of 100 marked patrol over the next 4-5 years. There is an additional $10K worth of add-ons. The 140 “take home” cars in the fleet will remain mostly unmarked and come from a multitude of vendors. Top Copper Mike Masterson told the GUARDIAN those cars will soon be coming from rental agencies and purchased USED with less than 24,000 miles on them.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. My family and I couldn’t decide whether the new logo was a hoe or a hockey stick. Maybe both?

  2. It would be interesting to find out who does the “equipping” of the new cruisers. Historically it has been done out of state. I know of at least three businesses locally who were trying to get that contract.

    EDITOR NOTE–Lights come from ECCO group, a local company. ERS of Portland has established a Boise facility to build and outfit vehicles for Idaho clients. Looks like total per car is about $10,000.

  3. Which motor? Dodge has a V-6 for city patrol cars to get good milage.

    Is the black paint so they can stay warm in the winter with the engine off? Going to be tuff long day in the summer when parked in the new gas saver mode. Hiway patrol can do black because they never stop for long. Mean look otherwise

  4. Dodge Chargers are immensely popular in Bloomington with the cops and the public so I am always driving under the speed limit whenever I see a Dodge Charger. If it’s a Charger, it could be a police car is the rule.

  5. Looks to be equipped with the 45mph “nerf” bumper … when involved in one of those frequent emergency intersection collisions, the cop car can now plow onward to its destination, leaving the paramedics to clean up in the wake.

  6. I have done a fair amount of traveling in my life and police are using much smaller (reads fuel efficient) cars for patrol duty in cities in other countries.

    High speed pursuits are just plain stupidity, they put citizens at risk. It appears to me Boise Police have very little respect for those of us paying the fuel bills for these vehicles. I could not be more disappointed in the choice of gas guzzlers picked to replace the former cop cars, the Ford Crown Vic.

    I can’t get the tune Macho Man by the Village People out of my head seeing this patrol vehicle.

  7. bring back the blue and white! this new design is awful!

  8. Hubert Osborne
    May 8, 2011, 8:44 am

    Probably too obvious but one way to cut fuel expenses on these muscle cars would be to retrofit to run on Compressed Natural Gas or order from the factory with a bi-fuel system. With the current CNG price @ $2/gallon gas equivelant savings would be noticeable even for City of Boise. No doubt law enforcement in other citys will try to prove that their cars are bigger and therefore better

  9. It seems to me that the name of the game in police work these days is intimidation. This design works well for that purpose.

  10. What? Mel Gibson couldn’t be there for the unveiling?

  11. Black cars are smart…never could figure out why they paint cop cars white, makes their job that much harder when they need to investigate an area at night without calling attention to themselves.

  12. Good luck trying to put anybody cuffed and over 5’10” in the back seat!

  13. 100 patrol cars and 140 “take home” vehicles? WTF?

  14. Lets just hope there was some common sence and they thought about fuel millage.

  15. LOL I guess the downturn in the economy doesn’t have any affect on the police, they just write more tickets and buy fancier cars…

  16. Most fleet sales are white. Rental cars business fleets, cops etc. Easier to repaint and cheaper by the gross. A black patrol vehicle sitting by the side of the road in the middle of the night would be virtually invisible.

  17. gas mileage depends on the motor selection and there are 4 motor selections for the Charger.

    gas mileage also depends on the drive train, some Charger models are equipped with AWD.

    gas mileage will be affected by the amount of weight they put on via aftermarket items.

    in today’s dollars, $25K for a base price (not to be confused with base model) with $10K of aftermarkets is not a bad price for a brand new vehicle these days.

    EDITOR NOTE–Gas mileage for a copper’s car is really a joke. It all depends on HOW the car is driven, how hard it is pushed from stop lights, chasing a speeder, responding to calls and MOST importantly how long it sits idling going nowhere.

  18. Most cops seem to drive like somebody else is buyin’ the gas.

    (Just sayin’…)

  19. The visual on this car to me does not say “to protect and serve”. It screams “don’t screw with me”. I can’t imagine how this vehicle got approved. Were there any citizens on this effort.

    This car does not convey the “to protect and serve” motto of most police departments. I think this car does not send the right image of BPD to the public from both appearance and the economics of the feeding and care costs.

  20. I’ll have to re-watch “Mad Max” – I’m positive Mel Gibson drove one of these as he chased the “Toe Cutter”!!

  21. This is ridiculous. I see this as a complete waste of tax payers money. Do the BPD really need these cars to chase drunk kids and jay walkers? The last thing the cops here need is an ego boost.. And I could be mistaken, but I think that their old logo said “to protect and to serve.” If this is the case and they removed it then what is their goal now.

  22. dontcarenomo
    May 10, 2011, 9:45 pm

    Movie Trivia: Mad Max drove a modified early 1970’s Ford “Falcon” which was released only on the Australian market.

    It had some body work done to it to make it look more like a muscle car for the film.

    But really there was nothing special about the car. The blower was there just for looks.

  23. Too bad they bought Dodge, a subsidiary of Fiat of Italy.
    Hopefully they will get the reliability issues fixed. I guess they didn’t want to wait for the new Ford Interceptor. Twin turbo charged V-6, better fuel economy with all wheel drive. LA sheriff testing claimed it was the best handling and fastest car ever tested. So much for buy American.

  24. OK all you naysayers, first off they replace cars after a little over 100,000 miles. With Ford not making a Crown Vic police car anymore, alot of thought and input went into this project as well as getting input from other agencies using the Charger etc. They just don’t go out and say “hey, that car is cool lets get it”. I’m sure milage is at the top of the list as it is for all of us. So, they chaged the scheme of it was the big thing and they did a public presentation so citizens would know what would be showing up on calls from now one. So, sit back, check it out, and if you stay out of trouble you won’t have to worry about seeing one!!

  25. It’s a V8 engine.

    The black color was cheaper then a white car.

    The backseats are plastic and form fitting so suspects in the back are more comfortable. They are easier to clean after a suspect pees or pukes in the back seat.

    The take home cars are for those officers working in an on call status. This way they can respond directly from their house at 2:00 am (or whatever after hour time) and get on scene faster. Yes, a fleet pool concept has been discussed.

    What is the deal with gas milage? Cops do more stop and go driving, running code requiring speeding up and slowing down for people who won’t move over, etc the average citizens. The milage sucks and it won’t get better. It’s the natrue of the work. They have to use larger cars so they can transport prisoners (try putting a 6-02 225lb susp in the back of VW TDI). Get real people.

    Guitarguy, what’s your solution if this is so ridiculous? The old cars have to be replaced. You can make an arguement to keep them longer (150k?), but they still need to be replaced. The choice of this car was made over months and months of research and various selection committees, including the city council. Why not ask the mayor’s office how much they spent on the graphic designer to come up with the design after the committee of cops did it for free. Hey Guardian….get on that one. Oh, while your at it, also ask them about the extra $80 in hub caps per car they have to buy so the cars don’t look so mean. That was a city council idea too.

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