Military-themed police cruiser hits Idaho streets

Twin Falls PD's latest cruiser is called "Salute to Service" and features camouflage coloring and emblems of the U.S. Armed Forces


Julie A. Ferraro
The Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A new police patrol car will debut this week in Twin Falls, and it’s not your average cruiser.

The latest of Twin Falls Police Department’s Ford Interceptors — beefed-up, themed vehicles — is called “Salute to Service” and features camouflage coloring and emblems of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Police Cpl. Jayson Mickelson, a Marine Corps veteran, suggested the theme.

The timing of its debut near Memorial Day wasn’t exactly coincidental.

“We have a lot of military veterans on the force,” Police Chief Craig Kingsbury said. Some are actively serving in the Reserves and National Guard.

So, after Mickelson submitted his idea, the theme was approved to follow other distinctive patrol cars.

Moving away from ordinary black and white cruisers started in-house.

“We put it out to our employees for different ideas,” Kingsbury said. A popular suggestion involved adding a thick blue line to the paint design. That concept was posted on the department’s Facebook page.

“We got a lot of feedback,” he said.

From there, the plan for themed cars grew.

“There are a number of causes that are near and dear to my heart,” Kingsbury said.

A domestic violence awareness themed car hit the streets during the Voices Against Violence event last year. Then, a breast cancer awareness SUV with a prominent pink ribbon was presented during the 2018 rodeo’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink event.

Other themed cars helmed by Twin Falls Police include a yellow and black SUV with the College of Southern Idaho logo.

“We have a great partnership with CSI, and we wanted to honor that,” Kingsbury said.

Student Resource Officers at Twin Falls and Canyon Ridge high schools drive cars painted with their respective school colors and logos.

“Magic Valley High School will be the next one,” Kingsbury said.

“There’s a lot of different causes that we at the Police Department get involved with,” Officer J.P. O’Donnell said.

That involvement extends beyond the officers themselves to the families and community, O’Donnell said.

Joining Forces Magic Valley, a local veterans organization, gave its blessing to the Salute to Service interceptor, Kingsbury said.

“We’ve been getting a lot of rave reviews” since the Salute to Service photos hit the police department’s Facebook page last week, Kingsbury said.

Some additions to the design came from those postings, O’Donnell added. A POW/MIA sticker and a Purple Heart City sticker are now on either side of the rear license plate.

The Salute to Service cruiser will officially hit the streets this week with Mickelson behind the wheel.

Kingsbury was all smiles at the prospect.

“We’re pretty excited.”

 

Our newest Community Connection patrol vehicle is our Salute to Service Police Interceptor! Figured #MemorialDayWeekend...

Posted by Twin Falls Police Department on Friday, May 24, 2019

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©2019 The Times-News (Twin Falls, Idaho)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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