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Six new black and white police vehicles — each adorned with clean, streamlined graphics — are being added this fall to the Houston Independent School District Police Department fleet.
The new graphics showcase a black vehicle shell with white front and rear doors displaying reflective images of the HISD Police badge and department name. The vehicle number is located at the back, along with a reflective emergency bar.
“These new graphics avoid any confusion,” HISD Police Sgt. Quinten Flannel said. “We decided that we wanted to be part of these efforts and made the move to that direction for safety above all.”
The updated graphics were the result of a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The study found that people sometimes had difficulty recognizing and identifying police cars — especially when they were not in their home communities.
Homeland Security tasked the State of Texas with leading the effort, which calls for general uniformity among law enforcement vehicles, as well as clear and easy-to-read graphics that help citizens quickly identify who is a police officer and who isn’t.
Flannel said the department made the modifications to ensure they were in line with Homeland Security recommendations, as well as updates made by surrounding law enforcement agencies. The new standards will be applied to the six new vehicles purchased by the department this fall, as well as all additional vehicles purchased going forward.
“I think these changes will definitely be our biggest resources,” Flannel said. “Our students are fascinated by police vehicles. Our older vehicles look great, but I think this image is going to be a better image.”
Inside the new police vehicles, WatchGuard Body Camera Systems will be installed to record a 360-degree-view of the vehicle’s interior and exterior. The vehicles also will be equipped with mobile computer terminals — also known as MCTs — and radars.