MANTECA, CA – Manteca police officers want to trade in their nearly all-white patrol cars for black and white, according to the Modesto Bee newspaper. The request, backed by the department, goes to the City Council for consideration Monday. The 70-member Manteca Police Officers Association is unanimous in its support.

The black front, top, and back would better allow officers to sneak up on suspects at night, according to the Manteca Police Officers Association. And, during the day, the contrasting white doors make the patrol cars more discernible from those driven by private security firms.

In Manteca, police cars were navy blue and white until the mid-1980s. They were custom-painted, and the present design came about as a cost-saving measure. He said the design was supposed to mimic that of cars on “Hill Street Blues,” the 1980s hit television series.

The proposed move wouldn’t change the current fleet. Instead, as older cars are retired, replacements would bring in the new style. The department typically buys four cars a year, so by 2012, all 18 of its patrol cars would be black and white.