(click on images to enlarge)
The Santa Monica Police Department has requested that the city council adopt a new color and design scheme for the department's patrol vehicles.
They want to incorporate the city of Santa Monica's logo into the design.
Currently the color scheme an all white vehicle with a thick stripe of three parallel colors (light blue, mid blue, and dark blue). The words "SANTA MONICA POLICE" are embedded into this stripe in large capital letter using white reflective vinyl material.
The design team has been consulted for the new design which would incorporate the city's logo.
They have decided to go with a design similar to the LAPD, with a black and white appearance. Most of the vehicle's body will be black except for the side doors and the roof.
I think the black and white design offered by the designers is problematic. First, the color black covers most of the vehicle and as a color is much harder to see in the dark than the white. The color black is chosen by police and military units as a camoflage for special operations, such as SWAT teams, because of its difficulty to be seen in the dark and it camaflage characteristics.
Also, the color black connotes sinisterism. The color black is often used in films and pictures, as seen in the picture of Darth Vador from Star Wars on the right, for the bad and scary guys.
And painting the SMPD vehicles to look like LAPD vehicles dilutes Santa Monica's wonderful individuality and identity by adopting an LAPD like design.
The current design of the SMPD vehicles (white with blue and reflective lettering) can be freshened up. And the design could be modified to incorporate the city of Santa Monica's logo if desired.
The pictures to the right show (at top) the current design. The design below that has been modified to illustrate one of the possible ways the old design can be enhance with freshening up and adding the city's logo.
In the modified color scheme(picture to the right), the three color stripes along the side of the SMPD vehicle has been changed to a single deep rich blue(the same blue as used on the NEW Rapid 3 Big Blue Buses). The words "SANTA MONICA POLICE" remain. However, they have been moved a few inches creating a space in the middle, in which a version of the City of Santa Monica's logo has been placed.
This version maintains many of the original design elements. And it incorporates some modifications to freshen up the design, and to incorporate the logo boldly on the doors.
If the City of Santa Monica proceeds with making the SMPD vehicles look like the LAPD vehicles, what is next on the chopping block? Will it be the color blue of our Big Blue Buses? Will our Big Blue Buses be painted green or red and become the Big Green or Big Red Buses, so they can look more like the Culver City Transit or Los Angeles MTA Buses?