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THE THICK BLUE LINE: For Svalbard governor’s new vehicle, ‘community policing’ means big blue reflective strips so people can easily recognize it when seeking help and see it the dark

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It won’t make getting pulled over for traffic stops any more pleasant, but The Governor of Svalbard is hoping an abundance of distinctive blue light emitting from its new police vehicle offer a more enlightening encounter with residents and tourists during dark times.

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Police Chief Lt. Anders Haugerud shows the customized easy-access emergency equipment in the rear cargo space of The Governor of Svalbard’s new police vehicle Friday. Photo by Mark Sabbatini / Icepeople.

The Toyota Land Cruiser unveiled Friday at the governor’s headquarters is customized with large reflective exterior strips, heavy-duty front winch and an easy-access collection of emergency response equipment in the rear cargo space, Police Chief Lt. Anders Haugerud said. It is not, unlike some big-city patrol cars, modified with “cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks” and such, meaning the identical model can be purchased minus the extras a couple hundred meters from the governor’s office at Svalbard Auto.

Haugerud said the improved equipment access is the biggest upgrade compared to the governor’s other police vehicles.

“The number one thing is to avoid injuries we want to be able to take things out easier,” he said.

The proliferation of reflective strips are, of course, the most visible change from other local police vehicles, which Haugerud will hopefully overcome the difficulty some people have recognizing the older vehicles during dark periods. He said the high visibility is also is meant to be more inviting than intimidating.

“Tourists can see it’s the governor’s car,” he said. “That will make it easier for them to find us and talk to us.”

It is the third hybrid vehicle in the governor’s police fleet – but the only such configured Land Cruiser in use by law enforcement in Norway.

The new SUV cost about 850,000 kroner and, no, they didn’t haggle over price, but “compared to other offers – other makes and models – we got a fair deal,” Haugerud said. Other vehicles made by BMW and Mercedes were among those considered, but ultimately the Toyota’s features were preferred – and also happened to be sold and therefore serviceable at Longyearbyen’s only auto dealership.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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One thought on “THE THICK BLUE LINE: For Svalbard governor’s new vehicle, ‘community policing’ means big blue reflective strips so people can easily recognize it when seeking help and see it the dark

  1. I had thought the term “Sysselmannen” is out, due to new regulations on gender neutral official names? Hmmm…

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