WHP pilots 'slick-top' patrol car program

February 22, 2017

The Wyoming Highway Patrol launched a pilot program using "slick-top" patrol cars in hopes of increasing highway safety across Wyoming.

Five new patrol vehicles will be patrolling Wyoming with one car headed to each of the five WHP districts across the state.

Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. David Wagener said slick-top patrol cars do not bear a light bar and have less conspicuous markings.

“They are still fully marked, but the markings are subdued,” Wagener said.

They are still clearly identifiable as WHP patrol vehicles, he said, and will be used to help identify distracted driving, impaired driving and also to increase the WHP's criminal interdiction efforts in areas such as human and contraband trafficking.

“With these cars we want to be able to see people before they see us,” Wagener said. “We miss a lot of things in our patrol cars that are highly marked and highly visible.”

Wagener said he sees opportunities to make a positive impact on public safety with slick-top patrol cars.

“When I’m in my personal vehicle, a teenager pulls up next to me buried in their cellular device, and they keep driving distracted. But I can’t do anything legally,” Wagener said. “When I’m in my patrol car and that same teenager sees my patrol my car, they put their device down until they pull away from me and continue that unsafe behavior.”

The slick-top car gives troopers the opportunity to see and observe a lot more and, ultimately, intervene to hopefully stop behaviors like distracted driving.

"I am excited to see the results of this initiative,” WHP Col. Kebin Haller said. “Slick top enforcement patrol vehicles are not new to law enforcement or other highway patrol agencies throughout the country. This is something that we have been discussing for the past year and we now have an opportunity to pilot such a program."

Wagener said the department is piloting the slick-top patrol cars after getting information from other states suggesting that the strategy has been successful in improving enforcement for distracted driving, impaired driving and criminal interdiction.

“I am supportive of this pilot project and encouraged when we innovate to advance law enforcement efforts in our state,” said William T. "Bill" Panos, Wyoming Department of Transportation director.