Wyoming’s highways sprawl for miles across its sparsely populated landscape.
Drivers usually can spot approaching state troopers on the horizon in their glossy black Dodge Chargers, especially in the bright white winters.
Not that anyone has a reason to keep an eye out for them.
‘This Sneaky Grey’
Some Wyomingites voiced confusion and consternation this week over the Wyoming Highway Patrol’s new grey-colored patrol cars, but the agency says most of its Dodge Charger fleet will remain sleek black.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol on Tuesday posted a photograph of a slate-grey Dodge Charger patrol car to the agency’s Facebook page.
Dozens of commenters registered shock.
“Not a fan, looks like they got the primer finished and said, ‘nah … I don’t want to finish, let’s clear coat and be done,’” said commenter Shawna Tyson Stephens in a comment on the photo.
“Great another color I have to be on the look out for,” commented O.J. Novota, along with a laugh emoji. “Kidding asides the black version is … one of the best looking out of all state trooper/highway patrol cars in the country.”
Another commenter, Lynne Lawson, teased, “Same color as a snowbank. You won’t even see them!”
Ru Jessop suggested the agency paint all its cars orange or yellow: “This sneaky grey or black tells us it’s (sic) all about the revenue.”
Every Time Though
Sgt. Jeremy Beck, Wyoming Highway Patrol spokesman, said the grey cars aren’t as recent as the public’s reaction to them.
The agency ordered about five grey cars in 2021 as a one-time color selection alternative for troopers who needed new vehicles. They arrived in 2022, said Beck, along with about 14 forest green cars and five granite-colored cars.
The patrol also uses some alternate models for specialized tasks, such as Dodge Durangoes and Chevy Tahoes, Beck said.
He said there’s always initial shock when a police agency changes its fleet style.
“I remember when we went with a new graphic package, back when we used to have black and white and we went to black vehicles, we had the same kind of response,” he said, adding that change was about 20 years ago. “Just like any other police vehicle, once you get to know the cars, you know that (design) as a patrol car.”
Beck emphasized that most of the fleet is still black.
Clair McFarland can be reached at: Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com