By Lisa Joy
Blackfalds RCMP Detachment’s retro black and white police cruiser with its distinctive cherry on top is
a throwback to the past and attracts attention.
“A lot of heads turn as you drive down the road,” said Cst. John Szerve. “You see a lot of people giv- ing you a weird stare as you drive by because they don’t expect to see a black and white car with the RCMP and especially with the cherry on top.”
“The reactions are great,” he added. “We get overwhelming support.”
The Blackfalds Detachment acquired the car last September from the traffic division of their K Division headquarters.
“The car was in use in Red Deer.”
The cruiser is mainly used by Cst. Szerve who is the School Resource Officer and he drives it to the local schools. It’s also used for parades.
The police vehicle is a fully functional 1996 Crown Victoria.
“Ford is no longer creating these cars anymore so it’s a bit nostalgic in that way as well,” said Cst. Szerve.
The cherry light on top is functional. The police cars used to have a large siren on the roof but this one doesn’t. The RCMP used black and white cars from the early 1950s until 1973 when they switched to blue and white vehicles, which they used until 1992. Now the RCMP vehicles are white with multi-coloured stripe decals.
“It gives a look to our old days when the cars were black and white and remind the people of those days,” said
Cst. Szerve. “Lots of people approach us saying ‘I remember those cars when I was young. It’s nice to see them again.’ Some people even tell us they used to run from the police back when the cherry was on top. It’s getting us out in the community and the community is enjoying it.”
The cruiser has LED lights, a radio and the detachment is in the process on installing a computer.
“It could be used as a regular police car.” When the detachment got the vehicle it had a lot of scratches so they had Canadian Collision
in Red Deer remove the scratches.
“We wanted it to look nice and perfect so when we put it in parades
it looks like a perfect car,” said Cst. Szerve.
“It’s fun to drive,” he added. “Seeing everyone’s reaction when they see it is great.”