'Police' Logo for New Cars Signals DPS Shift
Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 03:01
The Department of Public Safety has revamped its police car fleet by adding three vehicles with explicit “police” markings in the past two months.
DPS bought two Ford Crown Victorias and one Chevy Tahoe, which brings the total number of cars to eight, including the SafeRides vans.
Compared to the rest of the fleet, the new cars feature the word “police” prominently on the side, while “Georgetown University” is printed below in smaller letters.
Director of Public Safety Jay Gruber cited the change from the older vehicles’ “Department of Public Safety” markings as a desire to clarify the role of DPS on campus.
“The employees who work here are university police officers, and they perform a police function,” he said. “I think it provides some clarity to the university to our community that the people driving these cars are university police officers.”
According to Gruber, the new cars are replacing old ones that were becoming expensive to repair.
“We had a couple of vehicles that were in such bad shape that they weren’t roadworthy, and we made the decision to put those cars out of service,” Gruber said. “We were in very bad need of police vehicles. We were down to a couple of vehicles for a couple of months.”
Officers use the cars for a variety of purposes, including driving to training and court as well as for patrolling campus.
Gruber pointed out that the recently acquired vehicles are used and cost the department significantly less than if it had bought new cars.
Gruber said that while the increased number of vehicles may not necessarily decrease crime, it will allow DPS to better monitor the university area.
“The officers have a more reliable vehicle to drive, and the vehicles will be in service more often,” he said. “It helps to maintain a consistent presence out there rather than an ad hoc presence based on the availability of vehicles.”