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Winnipeg Police Service

About the Service - Winnipeg Police Service Cruiser Cars

Picture of the 2010 Cruiser Car Design

On July 28, 2010, the Winnipeg Police Service introduced a new black and white graphic design for our cruiser cars. The new design and graphics on our cruiser cars were selected by our members in a recent vote, and the results were overwhelming.

Our cruiser cars are perhaps the most recognizable element of our operations in the community. It had been more than 20 years since the organization had introduced the white cruiser cars with blue stripes.

The most important improvements on the new cruiser car designs are the larger and bolder graphics that have been applied, making these vehicles much more reflective and identifiable.

The enhanced visibility of the new cruiser cars will ultimately increase officer safety when responding to emergency calls, as well as assisting the Service in creating a greater awareness of police vehicles in neighborhoods throughout Winnipeg.

Both designs will continue to be seen on the streets over the next few years, as our new cruiser cars are phased into the current fleet through attrition.

The Evolution of the Use of Police Vehicles in Winnipeg

  • 1874 - 1897: Winnipeg Police did not own any forms of transportation. All police officers "walked the beat" and when arrests were made the prisoners were either walked to the police station or taken in a horse drawn livery (taxi) for about 25 cents.
  • 1897: Three "Perfect" bicycles were purchased to be used by detectives to respond to calls or by the Patrol Sergeants to check-in on constables walking the beat.
  • 1906: A Winton automobile was purchased that was to be used by the Chief of Police and on occasion by the detectives.
  • 1910: Six Indian motorcycles were purchased for the use of uniform members. These officers became the first to respond directly to calls from the stations or by dispatch from the police call-box system that came into service that year.
  • 1911: Horse-drawn paddy wagons were purchased. Housed at the Central Police Station and the sub-stations, they were used to pick up prisoners and eliminated reliance on local liveries.
  • 1913: The police department purchased two vehicles - a Paddy Wagon and an Ambulance as the police also attended all forms of accidents. The horses and wagons were sold.
  • 1927: The first actual cruiser cars were purchased and were called "minute cars". They were not used to patrol the streets but were parked at the stations for use in responding to emergencies.
  • 1930: Winnipeg Police became the first police department in Canada to place radios in police cars. The radios were only able to receive messages and could not be used to reply. The officers either attended the call directly or stopped at a call-box to acknowledge receiving the message before attending.
  • 1939: A new radio system was purchased from Marconi Company which provided two-way communication.
  • 1960: Winnipeg Police began using "marked" police cars. This was done by painting the doors white (2-door cars) and placing a city crest on the door. No red dome lights or sirens were installed. Eventually the black and white cars were fitted will all necessary emergency equipment. The last black & white cruiser in service was a 1987 Ford Crown Victoria which has been preserved in running condition by the Winnipeg Police Museum.
  • 1989: A switch from the black and white cars started began as the Police Service changed to all white cruisers with blue doors. This design lasted only a couple of years before the Service switched to all white cruisers with blue decals.
  • 2010: The Winnipeg Police Service is changing back to a "black and white" cruiser.

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