Vehicle modernization: Service de police de la Ville de Lévis wins Blue Line’s 2023 Best Dressed Police Vehicle Award
March 29, 2023 By Brittani Schroeder
Congratulations to all the winners of Blue Line’s 2023 Best Dressed Vehicle Awards, sponsored by Axon. The awards showcase innovative, sustainable and effective designs. We look for clear identification, graphic designs that enhance visibility, elements that show directionality of travel and effective integration of equipment and controls. “Green” vehicles are also taken into consideration. Thank you to all agencies who submitted their vehicles. Stay tuned to blueline.ca for 2024’s call for submissions later this year.
Best Dressed (regular patrol) category
1st PLACE: Service de police de la Ville de Lévis
2021 FORD POLICE INTERCEPTOR UTILITY – AWD
The Service de police de la Ville de Lévis (SPVL) felt a great sense of pride when they learned that they had won first place in this year’s Best Dressed Vehicle contest, shares Director of Police François Dubé. “For an organization like ours, a project of this magnitude of vehicle changeover relies on the commitment and heart of the employees. To win an award like this means, to me, that our team can do remarkable things. This award will certainly be an added incentive to continue to surpass ourselves as a team.”
The new patrol vehicle design for the SPVL was the first step in a major change towards their modernized police operations. For the police officers, the new vehicle means the deployment of a safe work environment with the ergonomic concern that has been thought out in the layout of the cockpit, modern and adapted to the digital evolution.
It was important to the SPVL that the new visual be created by and for police officers so that the feeling of belonging to this new visual identity would be strong. Officer Alexandre Tremblay, whose project was selected, was able to integrate the representative aspects that identify both the SPVL and the City of Lévis.
The four blue and gold chevrons on the vehicle are linked to the chevrons found on the city’s coat of arms. The direction of the chevrons is meant to illustrate the motto “Toujours à l’avant-garde” (always ahead of the curve), which is inscribed in the coat of arms to emphasize the city’s innovative character. It also refers to the current of the river.
The black and white bodywork finds its meaning in the significance that the City of Lévis attributes to these colours. Black is a symbol of firmness and vigilance, while white signifies unity and balance. As it blends with all colours, white also reflects the open-mindedness necessary for cooperation to take place in all spheres of the community. For police officers and for the community, cooperation is one of the service’s core values.
“This vehicle, which represents a unique twist on an otherwise more standard design, exhibits an aesthetically pleasing, complementary colour scheme. It has clear lines and strong directionality. It’s highly visible, with adequate emergency lighting and reflective markings, and boldly identifies as a police vehicle,” says contest judge Rylan Simpson.
Safety was also a primary consideration in the development of the new design. That’s why meticulous attention was paid to the vehicle’s visibility, both by day and by night. Finally, on the back of the vehicle, the words “Integrity, Pride, Courage” are present to remind the public of the SPVL’s commitment to them.
2nd PLACE: Canada’s Military Police
2020 FORD POLICE INTERCEPTOR UTILITY – AWD
The new Canadian Military Police vehicle design is the result of an extensive consultation process involving input from patrol members at the tactical level and guardhouses in various regions across Canada, expert consultations with the logistics section staff, and input at the strategic level by experienced Military Police officers.
“I am extremely proud that our new Military Police vehicle design took second place in the Blue Line Best Dressed Police Vehicle competition. It is an honour to be recognized alongside our police partners who we regularly work with across Canada,” says Brigadier General Simon Trudeau, Canadian Forces Provost Marshal and Commander of the Canadian Forces Military Police Group.
This modernized design moves away from using a military crest as the only identifier on patrol vehicles. The colours featured on the Interceptor are in line with the traditional Canadian Military Police colours of red with black and white tones, which date back to World War One.
“The process of designing and procuring vehicles in the Military is extensive, which adds to the satisfaction that our team was recognized at this level with the final product,” says Brigadier General Trudeau.
The new graphic also brings Canada’s Military Police in line with other law enforcement partners with a common look and feel, in terms of enhancing the word “police” and 911 as the official emergency service number to reach. The new modernized look is also functional and accessible for all by being bilingual.
The Military Police team put great effort into selecting a vinyl wrap that included 3M reflective accents to bring out the key information of “police” and 911, day or night.
“What a step forward in vehicle design,” says contest judge Dave Brown. “There is an old argument whether Military Police should be capital “M” and small “p”, or small “m” and capital “P”. To me, they’re capital “M” and capital “P”, because they’re both military and police, and they do both jobs extremely well. This award highlights their dedication, and I’m happy it’s being awarded to some of the most motivated members I have ever met.”
3rd PLACE: Anishinabek Police Service
2021 FORD F150 – 4WD
This new design for the Anishinabek Police Service (APS), created by the service’s own Sgt. Chantal Larocque and Natasha Castilloux of Gateway Signs in North Bay, Ont., was created to show pride in the Indigenous culture. The design on the vehicle features all the elements in their members’ shoulder flash, and elements from the crest of the APS.
In the crest, the central symbol is the thunderbird, which reflects the Union of Ontario Indians. It also represents power, strength, pride, integrity and goodness. Inside the thunderbird is a triangle, which signifies the Creator at the centre of all things. In the background sits the top of the teepee or wigwam, which signifies safety and shelter. The significance of the forests and water are also represented on the vehicle.
“Our team was excited to enter, let alone win third place in the Best Dressed Vehicle contest. Indigenous policing has had its challenges and to be recognized, nationwide, with a winning design is very rewarding,” says Sgt. Larocque. “Our design is not typical, and that cultural flare give us and those we serve a sense of pride.”
The truck is a symbol of the APS’ great strides as a police service and ability to showcase their culture. This is highlighted by the use of the Indigenous word “mino-bimaadiziwin” that is featured on the vehicle—it means “the good life”.
“In our culture we all strive for the good life, and as peacekeepers we have to remember that everyone needs help getting there,” says Sgt. Larocque.
Sgt. Larocque drives the truck to and from the 17 communities the APS polices province wide, stretching from Sarnia to north of Thunder Bay. The reaction and comments she’s received from community members have been overwhelmingly positive. “I also enjoy the shoutouts in cities, especially when Indigenous people point, give the thumbs up, and smile with what I see as pride. The look on their faces says, ‘That’s our police, that’s our people, and that’s an awesome truck’.”
WINNER: Peel Regional Police
2022 FORD MUSTANG MACH-E – AWD
In 2022, Peel Regional Police (PRP) had an objective to create a wrap for their vehicle that stands as their commitment to supporting all identities within their organization and community.
“Peel Regional Police is honoured to be selected as winner in this category, which received so many creative and deserving entries,” says Mark Figueiredo, director of materials management at PRP. “We aspire to be the most progressive, innovative and inclusive police service in Canada. This design tells the story of our leading-edge police culture serving the most diverse community in Canada.”
Many 2SLGBTQ+ individuals still struggle and feel out of place in today’s society based on number of factors. Members of PRP are committed to breaking down the barriers and supporting the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
“We are bold, applying our design to an intentionally chosen, black 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E all-electric vehicle. Overall, the tone is proud, direct and inclusive. Like the billowing flags on the vehicle, we are not static. PRP has a strong, dynamic and leading-edge culture,” continues Figueiredo.
The new Pride vehicle has been well received throughout Peel Region and allows PRP to connect with the community, open conversations and demonstrate PRP’s commitment to supporting and serving the most diverse community in Canada.
“Our vehicle is moving billboard that communicates our values and encourages positive engagement. Importantly, the #SafePlace call-to-action provides public awareness of our proactivity against hate motivated crimes,” says Figueiredo.
PRP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officers and the Chief’s Resource Council were consulted on how to effectively communicate the message. The final design was created by Cathy Miron, PRP’s in-house graphic designer. ArtCal produced the decals and installation was coordinated by PRP’s Fleet Services Department.
* Honourable mention goes to Brock University in the law enforcement category.
Thank you to Dave Brown and Rylan Simpson, Blue Line’s Best Dressed Police Vehicle judges, for their expertise and dedication to this content.
Dave Brown is a Blue Line contributor on firearms and police vehicles, as well as a Best Dressed Police Vehicle Awards judge. He is a tactical firearms trainer and consultant based in Winnipeg. He can be reached at Dave.Brown@northwestlaw.ca.
Rylan Simpson, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. He is an expert in police perception research and has studied the effects of police vehicle aesthetics on public perceptions of police. He has received numerous awards for his policing scholarship and engagement with policing officials. He has recently published his work in Criminology & Public Policy, PLoS ONE, Journal of Experimental Criminology, Justice Evaluation Journal, and Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice.
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