Chatham sheriff’s cars will lose rooftop light racks as new models go on patrol

rgallagher@newsobserver.comOctober 16, 2013 

Color scheme and no-light-rack look for 2013 patrol cars in Chatham County.

CHATHAM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

— Drivers with a heavy right foot in Chatham County are losing the ability to spot the distinctive silhouette of a deputy’s patrol car as the Sheriff’s Office gets new cruisers without light racks on the roof.

The roof lights on the 2013 Dodge Chargers have been replaced by LED flashers mounted all around the cars, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Doug Stuart.

The white sedans also sport “bold burgundy and gray stripes and bold lettering,” Stuart said. The word “Sheriff” appears in reflective lettering on the sides, front and back, he said, and sheriff’s badges on the front fenders are reflective.

The new design won a national award as “Best Dodge Charger” in a design contest that “Law and Order” magazine held for 2013 model police cars.

Sheriff Richard Webster said the new cruiser design makes deputies more visible and, therefore, safer.

“Safety and visibility are two of the most important factors that I can give an officer on the road,” Webster said in a statement.

Stuart said forgoing the light racks is expected to reduce noise in the passenger compartment and improve gas mileage by reducing wind resistance.

Gallagher: 919-829-4572

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