Intimidating police cars

19-Aug-2020 22:23 by 3 Comments

Intimidating police cars

We need officers to be community leaders, not prison guards.

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So let’s be true to ourselves and our values, and have our peace officers connect, collaborate and lead our communities with the right image and visual messages. Now only are we following along the American way with our police car markings, most of our police officers (including some of our female members) are becoming very similar to the bulky, overweight bulldogs that you see on American TV.For instance, grey is the colour of detachment, indecision and compromise.The closer grey fades to black, the more dramatic and mysterious it becomes.Many countries in Europe, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, have used bright, colourful Battenburg Markings for decades to Fortunately, the RCMP, internationally known for its scarlet red uniforms, has maintained vivid colour schemes.It suggests RCMP officers are not lurking in the shadows waiting to get you. So where’s this antagonistic ‘design of darkness’ coming from? Canada is among the most peaceful nations in the world, welcoming and celebrating diverse nationalities and cultures.When did our community policing culture shift from one of assistance to perceived intimidation, and where did our honoured, approachable peace officers go?

Are we following the footsteps of US police forces, which are armed with riot gear, armoured vehicles and other military-grade equipment?

Having built my life as a design professional in the field of visual culture over the past 20 years, I have to ask what purpose is served by the recent shift in police vehicle design in cities across Canada.

Toronto police cruisers are getting a drastic make-over, from white with bright red and blue decals, to stealth-like dark grey colours with equally somber decals that blend into the paint.

Helpful Officer Friendly, with smiles and laid-back attitude has been replaced by militant, cranky, sometimes power-tripping bully types.

The skyrocketing rates of beatings and even death they are dishing out is no coincidence.

Calgary recently switched its police vehicles to what’s been called “aggressive” and “paramilitary” black and white. Design forms our visual culture, which forms perception and ultimately creates our reality.