By Annette Christie
Fifty special edition black and gold patrol cars will join the Michigan State Police patrol fleet in honor of the department’s 100th Anniversary. The fully equipped 2016 Dodge Chargers are painted to resemble the department’s iconic 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car.
The 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car was one of the department’s first patrol cars and is the oldest vehicle in the department’s historical fleet. This unique patrol car had a siren than ran off of the fan belt and a radio that was “receive only.”
The MSP used black and gold patrol cars until 1954 when Commissioner Joseph A. Childs changed the department’s patrol cars from black and gold to the bright shade of blue that remains the standard today.
“These black patrol cars with their distinctive gold striping and 100th Anniversary door shield are a throwback to our past and one of the ways in which we are celebrating 100 years of service this year,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director of the MSP. “Because we are known for our Blue Goose we expect these black patrol cars to turn heads when drivers see them on Michigan roads and at events, providing us with opportunities to talk about our centennial and interact positively with the citizens we serve and protect,” Kibbey Etue said.
Each of the MSP’s 30 posts will receive at least one 100th anniversary patrol car for use on general patrol and at community events.
These patrol cars were purchased as part of the department’s annual fleet replacement so no additional money was expended for them, nor is there an additional cost to purchase a black car versus a blue car. These 100th anniversary patrol cars will remain in the department’s fleet until they reach their maximum mileage and must be replaced, like all the other patrol cars