Black and white patrol cars once were standard. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says that “after the tumultuous 1960s tarnished the public’s perception of law enforcement, police began opting for softer images — squads in shades of blue, white or green.” Now in Minnesota and across the nation, vintage black and white is making a comeback. “The blue cars kind of melted in with a lot of other cars on the road, but the black and white you don’t mistake,” said Winona Police Chief Frank Pomeroy, who ordered four new black and whites. “You know what you’re seeing.”
Across the country, orders for black and white cars increased by 20 percent — more than 6,000 vehicles — said a spokeswoman for Ford Motor Co., the leading supplier of police vehicles. Dr. Stephen Solomon, an Owego, N.Y., optometrist and an expert on emergency vehicle safety, bemoans the popularity of the two-tones. He says a single-tone light color, preferably light yellow, with significant use of retro-reflective fluorescent material, is far safer.