The Los Alamos County Police Department is set to receive eight new black patrol vehicles in 2024.  -  Photo: Los Alamos County Police Department

The Los Alamos County Police Department is set to receive eight new black patrol vehicles in 2024.

Photo: Los Alamos County Police Department

The Los Alamos County, New Mexico, Police Department is rolling out new patrol vehicles with a different paint color for the first time in over 60 years. The color change will help save the agency money.

Seeing Cost Savings with a New Color Choice

The agency opted for black for its marked patrol units because it found the vehicle color is cheaper to purchase.

While the department's current vehicles are white, Police Commander Daniel Roberts told Government Fleet that in the agency's experience over the last few years, there are limited fleet vehicle packages available. Those that are more readily available tend to have black vehicles.

Painting each vehicle white to match the current vehicles would have also cost too much money.

“Our department wanted white police units to match our current fleet. However, the cost for black units was cheaper by thousands of dollars. We owe it to the community to be financially responsible; ensuring the new units were white vehicles was not worth the extra cost," Roberts stated in a post on the department's Facebook page.

The Los Alamos County Police Department has not used black paint for its vehicles since the 1940s. An officer is pictured here in one of the department's Pontiac Silver Streak police cars.  -  Photo: Los Alamos County Police Department

The Los Alamos County Police Department has not used black paint for its vehicles since the 1940s. An officer is pictured here in one of the department's Pontiac Silver Streak police cars.

Photo: Los Alamos County Police Department

Roberts said the department has used white police cars since the 1950s. Prior to that, the vehicles were black and white.

The decal on the patrol vehicles, which has a mountain and the department's badge, will not change. The agency has had the same decal for 25 years.

The department has had its current decal for 25 years. The old one is pictured here.  -  Photo: Los Alamos County Police Department

The department has had its current decal for 25 years. The old one is pictured here.

Photo: Los Alamos County Police Department

Because the department is phasing in the black vehicles as old vehicles are replaced, the unchanged decals will help the department maintain a uniform fleet as it replaces the aging white vehicles.

The department chose to keep the same decal on the new vehicles so they would look uniform with the white vehicles that are still on the fleet.  -  Photo: Los Alamos County Police Department

The department chose to keep the same decal on the new vehicles so they would look uniform with the white vehicles that are still on the fleet.

Photo: Los Alamos County Police Department

The department will receive a total of eight black vehicles in 2024.

The police department has 45 vehicles on its fleet.

About the author
Christy Grimes

Christy Grimes

Senior Editor

Christy Grimes is a Senior Editor at Bobit, working on Automotive Fleet and Government Fleet publications. She has also written for School Bus Fleet.

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