Since I was a child, I’ve had an interest in Law Enforcement. There was a time when I was considering making a change from Radio to the field "to protect and serve". Maybe it was some of my favorite TV shows as a kid that fueled that fire.  

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One of those shows was ChiPs. It aired from 1977 to 1983 and was about the California Highway Patrol, specifically about two Motorcycle Troopers. But it was their cars that I thought were cool. Something bold about the Black and White that you knew who was on the scene. So, I think that’s what caused me to always pay attention to the color schemes of law enforcement vehicles.  

When I moved to Minnesota, the State Trooper cars caught my attention. I thought they were “unique” looking. One day at a stop light (that was holding forever I might add) I got to really study one, and I thought, I bet there’s a reason these cars look the way they do.  

I reached out to Sgt. Jesse Grabow who is the Public Information Officer for this Region, and he explained that the color scheme is in tribute to the National Champion Football Team from the University of Minnesota from 1934.  

Photo Credit- Minnesota State Patrol
Photo Credit- Minnesota State Patrol
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When the Minnesota State Patrol was created in 1929, they wore a long gray coat, riding boots, and gray knee-high pants with an eight-corner hat. The change in the uniform came after The Gophers first National Title in ‘34. Minnesota went on to win the titles in 1935, and 1936 as well.  

In 1958, the Minnesota State Patrol made the change to have Maroon Patrol cars from the previously black cars they had been driving.  

Photo Credit- Minnesota State Patrol
Photo Credit- Minnesota State Patrol
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This is an interesting fact to me, I love to know the “why” certain things are the way they are. Apparently, I’m not the norm. I asked a few people that I’ve met since moving to Minnesota if they knew why the cars were designed the way they are, and their answer was “No, never thought anything about it”. Whether you’ve ever wondered or not, now you know. Thanks for reading. 

 

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