Vicksburg Police Department uniforms, patches, squad cars getting makeover

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 23, 2004

Vicksburg Police Officer Anthony Lane poses in the uniform the department hopes to start using this winter.(Meredith Spencer The Vicksburg Post)

[8/21/04]The Vicksburg Police Department is looking to change its image over the next year with new uniforms and patches and logo designs for patrol cars.

Deputy Chief Richard O’Bannon said officers hope to start phasing in the new uniforms and shirt-sleeve patches this winter. New car logos are expected to begin showing up about the same time.

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“With the black and the gold on the cars right now it’s not sending the right message,” O’Bannon said. “It’s not sending a message of come to me if you need help, and that’s the message we want to send.”

The new colors will be red and blue.

Uniformed officers today wear black uniforms that haven’t changed in 20 years. The new ones will have navy pants with French blue shirts.

The patch design will replace one officers said is used at departments across the state. The new one will contain images of the Vicksburg National Military Park Memorial Arch with the scales of justice on top.

Inside the arch will be images of a magnolia blossom, a riverboat, a Civil War soldier and the castle that is a part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ logo.

O’Bannon said many of the officers had input in the changes designed to bring a new image to the department.

“I feel like anything is better than that old patch,” said Officer Anthony Lane, with the department for four years.

“It brings in a whole new image. A brighter image,” said Lt. David Beard.

Beard said that when he started with the department 27 years ago, officers wore a light blue uniform similar to the one firefighters wear today. He said police switched to the black uniforms to distinguish themselves from the fire department.

The new design for the police cars will have a large “V” on the door that makes up the first letter of Vicksburg and “Police” in large letters. The top of the “V” will run the length of the car like striping.

O’Bannon said the logos will be phased in on new cars as older vehicles are replaced. The department has about 50 marked cruisers.

The exact cost of the new uniforms and logos was not available, but O’Bannon said the cost will be spread over this and next year’s budgets. Today, there are about 70 officers including plain-clothes detectives.

Uniformed officer have four long-sleeve shirts, four short-sleeve shirts and four pairs of pants each. Detectives get a set of both uniforms.

Also, all uniformed officers will start wearing the same uniform with the switch. Today, officers in the traffic division wear white shirts with black pants.

O’Bannon said the new appearance of the department will reflect changes in the department since he and Chief Tommy Moffett took over in October 2001. When they came here, there were 108 officers in the department.