Black and white
is an American slang term for a police car
that is painted in large panels of black and white
. Historically, this scheme was much favored by North American police forces because it allowed the unambiguous recognition of patrol units from a significant distance. However, as the color scheme is not standardized, each police agency in the U.S. and Canada can choose their own color scheme. The most common variant of the black and white color scheme is white roof and four white doors, the second most common is white roof and only the two front doors. In Sweden the black and white police cars had black roof to make them visible in high snow.
Los Angeles Police Department
Like most police agencies throughout southern California
, the Los Angeles Police Department
vehicles are ordered painted in black clearcoat with the roof, doors, and pillars painted white from the factory. With few 9C1 Chevrolet Caprice
vehicles remaining in the motor pool (as the final model year of the Chevrolet Caprice
), the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
is the only sedan for patrol in the department fleet. Only the sedan
is permitted to engage in a vehicle pursuit, pursuant to department policy. Options available from Ford ordered by the department include the handle-bar spotlamps, 16-inch heavy duty steel wheels with chrome center caps, and ballistic panels within the two front doors.Installed equipment includes the lightbar, front-grill siren and control box from Federal Signal Corporation
, the digital two-way radio by Motorola
, a notebook PC to function as the Mobile data terminal
, and a partition to separate the prisoner rear seating from the driver and front passenger seats. So-called "A-cars" and "X-cars" (eXtra patrol) also have mounted between the front seats in front of the partition a shotgun.
Most police vehicles bear at least two rear bumper stickers: one reading "There's NO Excuse - For Domestic Violence" and another for "DARE" Drug Abuse Resistance Education. On the rear side panel is a black and white sticker that reads "EMERGENCY DIAL 9-1-1 Fire Police Medical." The front doors bears the seal of the city of Los Angeles, the department slogan "to protect and to serve" as well as the citywide five-digit "shop number" and city department name (POLICE). The last three numbers of the shop number (used to identify all vehicles operated by the city) are reprinted on the roof to help air units visually identify cars. On the trunk is a number that identifies which division the unit belongs to (e.g. a 25 would be "South Traffic Division" or a 3 would be "Southwest Area").
These cars appeared on the NBC television drama Adam-12:
All Japanese police
force vehicles are painted and marked in the same ways. Japanese police vehicles are painted black and white
with the upper parts of the vehicle painted white. Motorcycles are usually all white and riot control and rescue vehicles are painted a steel blue.
Originally Swedish police vehicle were painted black and white but in the reverse of the Los Angeles pattern. Swedish police vehicles had black roofs and doors or black roofs, bonnet and boot. This was a necessity due to the heavy snows Sweden acquires. Later they became blue and white and in 2005 they changed to blue, white and fluorescent yellow livery (Battenburg markings). Most Swedish police cars are either Volvo's or Saab's, with the same livery all over Sweden.
vehicles were painted like the Swedish ones before resorting to all white with red/white/blue striping.
Finnish police vans are colloquially know as the "Musta Maija" ("Black Mary"). Since Finland is a bilingual country, police patrol vehicles feature the text "Police" in both Finnish ("Poliisi", on the vehicle's right side) and Swedish ("Polis", on the driver's side).
Ontario Provincial Police has recently (2007) reverted back to a black and white scheme for their fleet. The force used this scheme on their police cars from 1941 to 1989.