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NDHP transitioning to black vehicles

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North Dakota Highway Patrol.2 / 2

FARGO -- The North Dakota Highway Patrol will be transitioning from white to black patrol vehicles over the course of the next 4-5 years, according to a press release sent out Tuesday.

The prototype, a white Dodge Charger wrapped in black with reflective NDHP decals and lettering, is currently in the Jamestown area.

"Black vehicles will enhance the safety of the motoring public as well as our officers, because they are easier to see during white-out conditions," said NDHP Colonel Mike Gerhart.

Forty black vehicles are on order and will be integrated into the NDHP fleet beginning in January 2018. According to NDHP Administrative Division Commander Capt. Aaron Hummel, the full transition will take 4-5 years.

"The first North Dakota Hihghway Patrol cars in 1935 were black and we are going back to our roots," Hummel said.

Over the years, patrol cars have been gray, silver, gold, maroon and brown. Brown vehicles transitioned to white in the late 1980s to early 1990s.

THE NDHP fleet is comprised to 175 patrol vehicles, according to NDHP Chief of Staff Major Brandon Solberg.

"We believe there is a potential for higher resale value at auction for the black vehicles versus the white vehicles, which could save taxpayer dollars," Solberg said.