Salem police return to basic black and white

SALEM – The Salem Police Department returned to basic black and white for their new cruisers this year.

Residents may have noticed the first one roaming the city streets last week, with the second one expected to arrive next week.

The price tag on each of the 2013 Ford Taurus models was $31,000 plus, with most of the bill for the first car paid with a $30,000 grant secured through the Office of Criminal Justice Services for the one-time purchase of a vehicle, Chief J.T. Panezott explained.

He credited Ptl. Brandon Smith, Ptl. David Banar and Ptl. Brad Davis for their work on the grant application. The rest of the bill for the first car was covered through the department’s Drug Enforcement Administration funding.

The second car, also a 2013 Ford Taurus, will be purchased through the city’s capital improvement fund. Both cars were being purchased from Donnell Ford of Salem which was able to beat the state bid price with the necessary equipment included. WB Signs did the lettering.

The new cruisers will replace two high-mileage Ford Crown Victorias, one with more than 120,000 miles on the odometer. Last year the department purchased two new cruisers, one a Ford and one a Dodge, and compared their performance.

Panezott said the Ford won out because the officers liked the all-wheel drive and there’s more room in the back seat.

As for the color choice, he said “everybody wanted to get back to black and white police cars