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New Kansas Highway Patrol cars have retro look

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, April 6, 2012, at 5:54 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, April 6, 2012, at 11:06 p.m.

Trooper Matt Mullen is getting used to the quizzical looks from children and second glances from adults when they catch sight of his new Kansas Highway Patrol car.

Mullen, who is based in Wichita, received one of 14 patrol cars this week painted in the traditional highway patrol colors of gray and blue – a tribute marking the 75th anniversary of the law enforcement agency. His 2011 Crown Victoria sports the red bulb on the roof, reminiscent of patrol cars from years ago.

“I like it,” said Mullen, who has been a trooper since 2001. “I remember seeing highway patrol cars that color when I was a kid. It made me think, ‘They ought to look like that.’

“I’m proud to get it.”

Kids in the neighborhood didn’t “get” what that red bulb on the roof of the car was, though.

“They couldn’t figure out what it was until their parents got home and told them,” Mullen said with a laugh.

Even though the single bulb is a throwback to generations past, it has an LED bulb inside.

“It’s new technology in an old housing,” Mullen said.

Adults have told him seeing the car feels like a trip back in time.

“I’ve had a couple of folks kind of take a double-take look at it,” he said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

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