Yates County Sheriff’s Patrol Car Wins Design Contest

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
The award-winning design of the Yates County patrol cars.

The judges for a national law enforcement magazine contest like the look of the new Yates County Sheriff patrol cars. Sheriff Ron Spike was most pleased being notified by Hendon Publishing Co. from Illinois that the patrol cars marking design took first place in its division for Law and Order magazine’s International Police Vehicle Design Contest. The magazine is a popular law enforcement monthly focusing on police management and sent to public safety agencies throughout the USA.

Complimentary issues are sent to law enforcement agencies across the country, and when Chief Deputy Howard Davis saw the contest notice earlier this year he decided to enter.

“We had a new design, and we wanted to let the world see what we had to offer,” Davis said, noting that the older patrol vehicles have a horizontal strip of red and gold with “sheriff” in the middle. The new design is the same red and gold strip, but instead of being straight, it follows the shape of the car, curving down along the front tire. In large and bold gold lettering, “sheriff” is written in the middle of the strip, with an outlined “Yates County” beneath it with “911” at stripes end.

Perhaps most striking is the sheriff’s gold star rising from a state map outline showing where the county is located in the state. Inside the star is the official county seal, representing higher education, three of the Finger Lakes, the Mennonite community and agriculture. “It shows all the different portions of the communities we serve to protect,” Davis says.

Officers worked on design recommendations last year coordinated by Sgt. Ed Nemitz and Correction Officer Lisa Wood, making draft submissions to Spike for changes and final approval. Wood created a computer-generated design of the emblem, which she then produced and applied to seven new patrol cars so far. Yates fell into the “Sheriff up to 25 officers, East” category and was up against several departments including: Blackford County, Ind.; Polk County, Ga.; Clay County, Ill.; Hampton County, S.C.; and Powell County, Ky in the final determination, decided in June.

The judges commented that “Yates County’s unique color combination is bright and immediately catches your attention. The emblem coming out of the state makes this car really pop. It is a clean, bold, well-rounded package.” Diane Ritchey, editorial director of Hendon Publishing, said the vehicles were judged on integrity; meeting the criteria of the contest guidelines; the safety of the officer driving; and the ability to identify the vehicle as a law enforcement vehicle.

The Yates County design was chosen for its “more sleek exterior profile to the contour of the newer body styles of the Crown Vic,” the choice of color, use of reflective material for visibility and safety, and the design of the sheriff’s star with the county seal emerging from the map of the state.

Spike thanks everyone involved in this project and says, "We will all be very proud to see our patrol vehicle in the August edition of Law and Order magazine.”