Seeking school spirit, University Police changes color scheme

Allyson Chiu, Assistant Campus Editor

After about 20 years of the same black, yellow, white and blue design, University Police cars are getting a makeover.

As part of the police department’s efforts to align with Northwestern’s branding guidelines, patrol vehicles will now be all black with purple and white decals, said Gloria Graham, deputy chief of police. The new design debuted at the Homecoming parade Friday.

Prior to the change, UP vehicles had “police” written in yellow letters on the side of the car. “Northwestern” or “Northwestern University” was visible in white lettering toward the vehicle’s rear. Now the cars have “police” written in a gradient from white to purple with “Northwestern University” underneath.

The idea to rebrand was brought up late last year after UP examined what the police cars said about the department, Graham said.

“We decided they don’t really say, ‘We’re Northwestern; we’re part of Northwestern,’” she said.

Graham said an important factor for making the change was to show that UP –– along with the rest of the University –– has school spirit.

“Our patrol vehicles are one of our most outward facing forms of communication to our community,” she said. “We are now easily identifiable as part of Northwestern, whereas before, our vehicle scheme was not aligned with the school colors or branding.”

So far, only three patrol cars have the new look, but UP plans to have its entire fleet redesigned within the next two weeks, Graham said.

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