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Editorial: Police service counts, not color of patrol cars

After decades of sporting green and white markings, the patrol cars driven by officers from the Bel Air Police Department are now sleek black.

"We felt it was time to move forward a little bit," Deputy Chief Rick Peschek said when asked about the new look, adding the change will be like day and night.

Black is a power color. A few years back, a fear in the conspiracy theory community was that a shadow government with a legion of black helicopters would soon be taking over.

Then there are those black Secret Service vehicles with black tinted windows that show up in the strangest places when a high ranking official is visiting. Even as they are parked at strategic locations apparently trying to be incognito, they stand out as though they were M1 tanks. Come to think of it, they're probably about as heavily armored.

Having these new black police cars certainly has the potential to make people do double takes when an officer on patrol passes by. It may also end up giving the town police better visibility.

Let's hope, however, that the friendly and helpful service provided by the Bel Air Police Department doesn't change to reflect the more forceful look of the patrol cars. The job of the police, as stated regularly for an older generation that grew up watching police heroes on TV driving black and white police cars, is to protect and serve.

As long as that doesn't change, it doesn't matter what color the cars are.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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