Nisswa Minnesota The Thirteenth Annual Police Vehicle Design Competition has come to a close, with 19 departments earning design awards and six receiving honorable mention. Of those winning departments was Nisswa (MN) Police Department, earning first place honors in the "Less Than 50 Officers" division.
A few hundred entries were received this year, complete with photography and statements of purpose. While all the entries were worthy of recognition in their respective categories, only a handful earned spots in the winners' circle.
More than 5,000 departments have entered the contest, co-sponsored by Law and Order Magazine and 3M, throughout the past 13 years. The contest greatly aided in raising officers' levels of consciousness in respect to the design of their agency's vehicles.
Based solely on graphic application, entries with clearly identified departments, clean, professional design and appealing graphic schemes were awarded first, second and third place. All winners receive a plaque and money, which will be donated to a charity of the agency's choice.
A Grand Prize of $1,000 is awarded annually to a participating department that demonstrates creativity, style and purpose what the contest strives to accomplish. This year's Grand Prize was awarded to the South San Francisco (CA) Police Department for its DARE vehicle.
The 2001 first place contest winners were as follows:
Federal or State Agency Colorado School of Mines Police Department
DARE Beaverton (OR) Police Department
Municipal (More than 50 Officers) Clinton Township (MI) Police Department
Municipal (Less than 50 Officers) Nisswa (MN) Police Department
Sheriff's Agency Yadkin County (NC) Sheriff's Office
Special Purpose Vehicles Montgomery County (AL) Sheriff's Office
Each year, three distinguished people are invited to judge the competition. This year's judges were: Gary Sivak of the Kane County (IL) Sheriff's Office; Paul Lund of Lund Industries; and John Sliozis, Chief of the Deerfield (IL) Police Department.
The first vehicle design contest came about when Law and Order Magazine's Publisher Scott Kingwill and Editor Emeritus, Bruce Cameron, investigated to see if there were standards to define patrol car design. While many of the vehicles were poorly marked, it seemed the only guidelines available were from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies who simply recommended that the vehicles have some sort of reflective material on the car. No other organizations such as the International Association of Chief's of Police, National Sheriff's Association, or even the federal government had any standards for defining law enforcement vehicle design. The contest has provided an outlet for agencies to express creativity and demonstrate modern markings for department's vehicles.
Entry forms for next year's competition will be available, beginning with the January 2002 issue of Law and Order Magazine.