Saginaw County Sheriff Goes Retro

unityrv26

Member
Original poster
Mar 4, 2012
377
Michigan
Its been a few months since this happened, and it has been the talk of the town for sure. I thought I would bring it here and see what you guys think. The Sheriff decided to go "retro" on the patrol fleet. The old fleet were basic black Chargers and Tahoe's with a thin gold stripe above a larger "sheriff" decal. All were upfitted with LED lightbars as well as secondary interior LED lighting.

It Started with just one car, wrapping the door white and putting the badge on it, with some retro sheriff markings. Then came the lightbar. He removed the LED bars and put two halogen rotators outboard and two spots inboard. There are still assorted LED's around the interior of the cars, and grille.

Since then just about the entire fleet has been changed over, and their new cars were also upfitted the same. I have not seen one yet lit up at night (they rarely patrol through our city). I have to agree, too many LEDs either look like a big non-flashing blob of light, or too much blinky to be confusing. I personally like to the mix of halogen and LED.

What do you think?

The official news story:

http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2015/10/saginaw_county_sheriffs_budget.html
 

Attachments

  • sheriff.jpg
    sheriff.jpg
    132.7 KB · Views: 504
  • sheriff2.jpg
    sheriff2.jpg
    35.5 KB · Views: 535
  • -9666a8cc9b4bb9a7.jpg
    -9666a8cc9b4bb9a7.jpg
    78.5 KB · Views: 437
  • Like
Reactions: EngCo4

HILO

Forum Guru
May 20, 2010
2,781
Grand Prairie Texas
That is greatnes!
 

801

Registered Member
Jul 14, 2014
679
NV
Love it, looks they sync'ed the lower LED's. Best of both worlds, now if I could convince my boss to do the same thing.
 

pdk9

Veteran Member
May 26, 2010
3,832
New York & Florida
Sorry to be a pessimist guys, but I really dislike this. If he wants to improve visibility to let ppl know that they're out there, then writing "sheriff" in big letters would be a better approach than 1 door with a badge on it and old halogen lights.
I do agree that some lightbars are a blinding mess to look at, particularly at night, but that's something that can be fixed by selecting a better flash pattern and utilizing other features (i.e. dimming). I have always been a fan of combining a mix of technologies, so even something like mixing halogen & LEDs would be a better approach than the 2 old school beacons
 

CrownVic97

Veteran Member
May 21, 2010
3,328
Hazen, ND
I like this throwback! Now the Sheriff's should get an Aurora Borealis on his duty car. That'll really get people's attention!
 

TACKLEBERRY

Member
Sep 20, 2010
231
Norton, MA
I'm with pdk9 on this one.

I think rebuilding the lightbars they already had with colored lens, I/O boards with a low power photo cell, selecting slower patterns, and a full bar cruise mode; would have been much more effective.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ff168577

dmathieu

Premium Member
May 20, 2010
8,497
S.W. New Hampshire, USA
I like the high profile, and retro look even with the lights not activated. This seems to be part of the reason for the change. As far as being effective, these lights have a Class I rating. I also think they would be fairly inexpensive to make and maintain.
 

pdk9

Veteran Member
May 26, 2010
3,832
New York & Florida
I like the high profile, and retro look even with the lights not activated. This seems to be part of the reason for the change. As far as being effective, these lights have a Class I rating. I also think they would be fairly inexpensive to make and maintain.

To be honest, I think that they'd be more costly to maintain b/c halogen bulbs burn out quicker than LED diodes, replacement parts probably aren't as readily available everywhere, etc.

I could understand if they wanted to shy away from the low-profile bars (i.e. avatar, legacy) & go with something more noticeable & high profile (i.e. Freedom, vector, MX7K with lower deck LEDs), but this just doesn't seem to be the best approach. There are so many alternative options out there (blueprint, lightbar solar panels, rotabeam, etc) that I think would be safer and more effective. I also do like fullsize LED lightbars b/c the cruise function at night shows a visible patrol presence but doesn't wake the entire neighborhood up
 

LRGJr72

Premium Member
May 29, 2010
787
Denver, CO
I LOVE this move and this look. Two things I would've done differently.

- 1) I would have used a Whelen RB6-Series beacon with dual reflectors.
rb6tap.jpg
- 2) I would've preferred that the single sheriff star be the traditional Michigan Sheriffs Association style used by nearly all of the state's counties.

Untitled-1.jpg
 

jph2

Senior Member
Apr 21, 2012
2,122
USA Michigan
^This. Dual reflector beacon and traditional Michigan Sheriff star.

Part of the point is community relations and the goodwill generated by the retro look. There may be LED-based solutions that might be better than the "issues" the Sheriff says he's addressing, but the overall look is what's got people talking. The secondary lighting on the car covers the rest of the angles. The closeup of the spots might be on an angle so the lights might actually be aimed properly.
 

CHIEFOPS

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
1,479
NYC
High-profile look, kudos.
The only thing I'd change is reverse direction of one of the two rotators and mount flashing or steady burn LEDS below the beacons to the front and alt amber LEDS below the beacons to the rear
 

7d9_z28

Gold Donor
Mar 15, 2012
3,048
West Michigan
I hope theres a Tahoe in that fleet! Awesome
 

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
May 7, 2010
9,865
Northwest Ohio
Needs a pair of PAR36 . Looks great. Love the old skool look!

I'm telling you guys, LED par 36, Whelen Rotabeam LEDs... throwback but actually bright.
 

nerdly_dood

Veteran Member
Jun 15, 2010
2,312
Georgia
If it's just two single rotators, and not sealed beams or Whelen's dual beam, I'd go for high speed rather than standard. But seriously, this is the best thing I've seen on here in a long time, I absolutely love this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EngCo4

car54

Member
May 24, 2010
494
michigan
Can someone here tell me what company is the bar the lights are sitting on? Looks like code 3 feet but not sure about the other. Me myself and I like the setup as is, love retro anything as long as it has greatness and doesn't look out of place. Any info on my question would be great.
 

firemedicjoe

Junior Member
Jan 7, 2013
30
WI
I disagree with this. Officer safety should be a top priority. If they want to be seen without the lights on get better graphics. If they want the lightbar to indicate who they are you can get lightbars with red and blue domes or use cruise mode, if it's too bright, dim it or change the flash pattern. They are going to have to use local LEO's when on an accident scene to block traffic. I personally think their budget got cut and the Sheriff is using this as an excuse.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RL1

7d9_z28

Gold Donor
Mar 15, 2012
3,048
West Michigan
I disagree with this. Officer safety should be a top priority. If they want to be seen without the lights on get better graphics. If they want the lightbar to indicate who they are you can get lightbars with red and blue domes or use cruise mode, if it's too bright, dim it or change the flash pattern. They are going to have to use local LEO's when on an accident scene to block traffic. I personally think their budget got cut and the Sheriff is using this as an excuse.

Wow.

How many years (decades is a better word) did everyone use lights like these, and here we are today just fine. On top of that, the car HAS other lighting, its probably a very effective combo. The MSP uses the Unity (now with the dumb LED retrofit) with very little added lighting and the cars are plenty noticeable and effective. Trust me, I see them all the time and have been stopped by one before. They will be just fine with the setup they have on these cars, its the other distracted moron drivers that cause accidents.
 

dmathieu

Premium Member
May 20, 2010
8,497
S.W. New Hampshire, USA
2 lights with SAE Class I rating, each with 360 degree coverage, a combined 190 FPM (95 each), each flash with 80,000 candlepower per flash, plus any extra directional lighting that they may have.....sounds pretty good to me. Some of the new setups can be crazy. Simple can still be good, and not sacrifice officer safety, which I agree is paramount.
 
Last edited:

CHIEFOPS

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
1,479
NYC
I disagree with this. Officer safety should be a top priority. If they want to be seen without the lights on get better graphics. If they want the lightbar to indicate who they are you can get lightbars with red and blue domes or use cruise mode, if it's too bright, dim it or change the flash pattern. They are going to have to use local LEO's when on an accident scene to block traffic. I personally think their budget got cut and the Sheriff is using this as an excuse.

What about this setup compromises anyone's safety?
 

TDC

Platinum Donor
Dec 4, 2012
129
near Carswell AFB, TX
It's about time. Simple, recognizable, non-blinding.

Just off the top of my head, I saw at least 7 cars get taken out last year by motorists, one of which would undoubtedly have been a fatality had the driver been in it. All of those "safe" vehicles had so many lights you couldn't see the car, or people around it.

We here may know what is "required" or helps other motorists, like dimming lights or arrow functions. Most drivers will tell you they turn the lights on by moving the lever all the way to the right, then left to turn them off.

Nice.
 

unityrv26

Member
Original poster
Mar 4, 2012
377
Michigan
The saga continues.....

The deputies were complaining the lights were not bright enough (which they weren't) and that they were freezing up in the cold.

So two cars have been upfitted with new "bubbles" that are LED. They are a dual rotating pattern (looks like a dual sealed beam rotator). They are EXTREMELY bright. I am not sure the model or maker of the lights yet.

They are absolutely the best LED rotating pattern I've seen, They are not "blinky" or too fast of a rotation speed. They very much mimic they old RV26's. I wish that MSP would change to these.

I will get more info as soon as I see the units that have the new LED's, they are at sub-stations right now. For now, all I got to see was a video that was taken by a cell phone.
 

LRGJr72

Premium Member
May 29, 2010
787
Denver, CO
The saga continues.....

So two cars have been upfitted with new "bubbles" that are LED. They are a dual rotating pattern (looks like a dual sealed beam rotator). They are EXTREMELY bright. I am not sure the model or maker of the lights yet.

They are absolutely the best LED rotating pattern I've seen, They are not "blinky" or too fast of a rotation speed. They very much mimic they old RV26's. I wish that MSP would change to these.

I will get more info as soon as I see the units that have the new LED's, they are at sub-stations right now. For now, all I got to see was a video that was taken by a cell phone.

REALLY look forward to see the replacement LED beacons.
 

jph2

Senior Member
Apr 21, 2012
2,122
USA Michigan
As it happens, I was in Saginaw County today and went by an accident with MSP and Saginaw County SO on scene. Alas, the SO unit was a slick top, so neither the "first gen" nor updated rotators on the the roof.
IMG_8969c.jpg
Ambulance, fly car, and fire were also on scene, and the freeway was shut down northbound, so fairly serious, but so far news is not reporting any injuries. Hope everyone turns out ok.
 

Krsdog25

Junior Member
Apr 30, 2012
186
NJ
With the speed of traffic today and all the electronic distractions I think the change to LED was absolutely necessary. Kudos to the Sheriff for actually listening to the concerns of his officers and acting accordingly.
 

Staff online

Search for a Member

About us

  • Since 1997, eLightbars has been the premier venue for all things emergency warning equipment. Discussions, classified listings, pictures, videos, chat, & more! We strive to keep our staff members strive to keep the forums organized and clutter-free. All of our offerings are free-of-charge with all costs offset by banner advertising. Premium offerings are available to improve your experience.

User Menu

Secure Browsing

eLightbars.org uses SSL to secure all traffic between our server and your browsing device. All actions and transactions within are secured by Sectigo SSL with high-strength encryption.