It’s “out with the old and in with the new” for the Clovis Police Department.
The agency’s Ford Crown Victorias will be phased out this year while Ford Explorers are added to the patrol fleet. And every marked vehicle will sport a new design in the coming months.
The Crown Vics, Dodge Chargers and Ford F-150 and Dodge pickup trucks that make up the 60-vehicle fleet have carried the sunrise-over-mountains design — signifying Clovis being the Gateway to the Sierras — for more than a decade, according to department officials.
When the department’s equipment budget allowed for the addition of vehicles, the department thought it would be the perfect time to revamp the logo emblazoned on the side of each car.
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Clovis Police Sgt. John Willow is the department’s driver’s training instructor and has always wanted to have a hand in designing the field graphics, he said. He spent nearly a year carefully researching designs used by other agencies across the country and coming up with his own ideas.
“Ten years ago when the graphics came out, they were nice, they were new, they were upbeat,” Willow said. “But I wanted something more representative of the city … that had some statement and history behind it so that when it went on the car it actually meant something, it didn’t just look good.”
Many agencies have the word “police” large and bold on the side of their patrol vehicles, with their city name in a smaller font.
That doesn’t work for Clovis.
“We wanted to stand out, as we typically do in Clovis with Clovis being a way of life,” Willow said. “We wanted to set the standard by saying ‘this is Clovis police, not police in the City of Clovis.’”
The clean-looking design features a simple stripe. But when you learn the meaning behind the stripe’s colors, it turns out that it’s not so simple.
“It has a couple of meanings behind it,” Willow said.
The stripe is light blue at the bottom and darkens toward the top.
“Clovis Police uniforms used to be light blue, but we transitioned over time into the dark blue uniform,” Willow said. “So the stripe represents that history.”
The stripe’s outer edges are black to match the Peace and Police Officer Memorial Ribbon.
I wanted something more representative of the city … that had some statement and history behind it so that when it went on the car it actually meant something, it didn’t just look good.
Clovis Police Sgt. John Willow, who came up with the new design for the department’s vehicle fleet
“We wanted something to represent the remembrance of fallen officers,” Willow said. “The remembrance band is black with a blue stripe.”
The design still prominently displays the Clovis Police badge.
“We take pride in our badge, so there’s no need to change any of that,” Willow said. “We left that the way it was.”
The “Clovis Police” lettering on the back of the vehicles will be changed to match the bolder font on the side.
A wavy American flag is also incorporated into the design.
It took almost a year to finalize the artwork. Willow submitted his designs to the command staff and then sent out the top choices to the entire department for feedback.
So far, a few of the agency’s Chargers have the upgraded design, along with two Ford Explorers. The remaining vehicles’ art will be redone over the next several months to create a uniform appearance, Willow said.
In all, eight Ford Explorers will be added to the fleet.
“The purchase comes from the police department’s equipment budget,” Willow said. “We were looking at buying more pickup trucks from Dodge, but the cost of the Explorer allowed us to save money to purchase one extra vehicle, so we’re being cost smart. We’re still getting utility vehicle services out of it and adding an additional vehicle to the fleet.”