The Town of Apex isn’t just the best place to live in America. It also has the country’s snazziest police cars.
Law and Order magazine has awarded the police department the grand prize in its annual design contest. One of Apex’s vehicles appears on the cover of the August issue.
The honor comes just weeks after Money magazine named the Wake County the best place to live in the country.
The design only has been on some of the vehicles since the Town Council signed off on it in December. Then, Apex Police Capt. Jacques Gilbert said some in the department wanted to revert to the classic black-and-white design of past decades. Others, he said, were itching to win another award.
The town’s old design, which can still be seen on many vehicles around town, was named among the best looking in the country when it was unveiled in 2006, winning a regional award.
In 2014, as many of the department’s cars began to age out and 10 new vehicles were needed, leaders decided to go with a new design.
The contest’s judges – a police chief, assistant chief and patrol supervisor and a marketing executive – were impressed with the new look. The cars are mostly black, but with a splash of white on the doors, a police badge and the words “Apex Police” in capital letters.
This is a one-of-a-kind design .... a twist on the traditional black-and-white design.
Judges for Law and Order’s Police Vehicle Design Contest
“This is a one-of-a-kind design .... a twist on the traditional black-and-white design,” the judges wrote. “It could be the black-and-white police car of the future. The colors enhance each other and we really like the chevron on the back. The “police” lettering on the hood and rear is easy to read. The badge is a nice touch, too.”
There also is a band of gray separating the black and the white, and the backs of the vehicles are affixed with reflective tape to increase the dark vehicles’ visibility – and thus their safety, as well.
The judges look at the safety of the officer driving, the ability to identify the vehicle as law enforcement, the overall look, and visibility.
Apex Police spokeswoman Capt. Ann Stephens said the officers are generally supportive of the more old-school, black-and-white design. And, she added, everyone has been happy, now that the department has bragging rights over their peers nationwide.
Chief John Letteney summed up the new design as “traditional colors with a modern style,” in the department’s entry for the award.
The design was made by a team of Apex officers working with Mincey’s Graphics, a Durham company that also made the winning 2006 look of mostly grey with a black and yellow swoop.
Darin Case, the Mincey’s worker who made the design, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Mincey’s shop is behind the distinctive Carolina Blue fire trucks in Chapel Hill, as well as vehicles for the Durham County Sheriff’s Office and Holly Springs Police Department, among others.
Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran