Topper Cop

Houston Police Chief Billy Voyles stands beside the city's patrol pickup outfitted in Houston School District color. State law requires police fleet vehicles to be marked but don't say what colors they must be. (Photo Floyd Ingram)

Houston Police Chief Billy Voyles stands beside the city’s patrol pickup outfitted in Houston School District color. State law requires police fleet vehicles to be marked but don’t say what colors they must be. (Photo Floyd Ingram)

 

HOUSTON – Some people don’t like to see the police show up, but when Police Chief Billy Voyles arrives on the scene Topper fans can’t help but like his truck.

Voyles recently had the city’s 2011 Chevrolet Silverado detailed by Jody Wright at J&H Printing with Houston maroon decals on each side and a “Home of the Toppers” logo – complete with a charging ram – on the tailgate.

“It was all in the budget and part of the package we get when we buy one of these trucks,” said Voyles. “I like it. It’s different and says we are from Houston.”

Voyles said his truck usually leads parades and other city events and should be outfitted with school colors.

“I’d like to see us do more like this in the future,” said Voyles. “Once people get used to this they will recognize them as our trucks. I think we ought to do all city vehicles in school colors.”

Voyles said the days of an old black-and-white cruiser being the standard issue for police are coming to an end.

“I like the trucks better because they can do more,” said Voyles. “I’ve got a stolen bicycle in the back right now and would not be able to do that with a car.”

Voyles said the driver also sits a little higher in a pickup giving better visibility and a truck can go places a car can’t in rural community like Houston.

Voyles also pointed out the trucks are rotated into the city’s fleet of work trucks once the new wears off.

“For liability issues and for reliability issues we like to bring a new vehicle into our lineup about every year,” said Voyles. “We use our vehicles a lot and put hundreds of miles on them a week.

“Your vehicle is also your office and our officers do a lot of work out of them,” said Voyles. “They have to crank every time, they have to be safe and they have to go where we have to go.”

Voyles said his truck has 41,000 miles on it and he traditionally keeps his vehicle in service with the police department a little longer than a regular patrol vehicle.

“We do security at all football games and this truck will be there this fall,” said Voyles. “We’ll fit right in.”

 

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