Sheriff's patrol cars to get a new look

A new look for Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office patrol cars was unveiled today.

After more than 17 years, the department is shelving its award-winning look dubbed "Shamu" in a cost-cutting measure. Sheriff Robert Hinshaw presented the new design at 2 p.m. today in a parking lot next to the Sedgwick County Jail.

The new design will be phased in over the next three years as patrol cars are gradually replaced. Hinshaw estimates the new design should save the county $70,000 a year, with a total savings of more than $262,000 by the time the entire fleet is replaced by 2012.

The "Shamu" white-over-blue design, which has been in use since the early 1990s, won a national award for best patrol vehicle design in 1994.

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