The Manawa Police Department has officially introduced its new police squad– a 2014 Dodge Charger specifically manufactured for police use.
“Dodge production start-up delays postponed the delivery date, but the wait was definitely worth it,” said Chief David Walker. “Our officers are very happy with the new squad.”
Walker said the all-wheel-drive and other safety features equipped in the police model, plus test ratings, led to the choice.
“We also decided early-on to incorporate the community and school district logo and colors into the new squad decal design. I decided community, city and school district input into the project was relevant and important – after all, it’s their police squad car, not mine,” said Walker.
Last school term, Walker assigned Officer Jerimiah Johnson to coordinate with the Manawa high school arts teacher Nancy Zabler. “Nancy approached one of her arts students, Jessie Luedke, to come up with a design and other possible choices,” Walker said.
Before graduating to move on to Northern Michigan University, Luedke was actively involved in the New London PD Police Explorer program.
“Jessie was a pleasure to work with and very dedicated to the project,” said Walker. “We asked her to come up with something different and Jessie delivered. Earlier in the year upon completion of the design work, Jessie did a fantastic job giving a presentation to the Manawa Common Council on the decal concepts, along with some alternate designs.”
The decal designs were then placed in a survey to solicit Manawa Rural Fire Department and Manawa Ambulance member input on their preferences. Additionally, a community citizen month-long open choice survey at the city clerk’s office clearly made the final design “the hands-down winner.”