Louisiana State Police unveils new heritage unit for recruiting, events

Staff Report
Since 1936, Louisiana State Police patrol units have changed in type and color over the years.

Louisiana State Police released its new heritage unit with a color scheme reminiscent of the patrol units from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.

The Dodge Charger, which has been refurbished from LSP's existing fleet, will be used at recruiting and other community events across the state to help share the story of our past, according to a news release. A video is available on LSP's YouTube page.

Since 1936, patrol units have changed in type and color over the decades. Motorcycles were exclusively used as patrol units until 1939. 

Currently, white units with red letters have been well-known across the nation as a Louisiana State Police unit. Briefly, units were navy blue with gold lettering. In 1989, during Gov. Buddy Roemer and Col. Marlon Flores’ administration, patrol units took on a new look. They were navy blue, matching the LSP uniform. Two gold stripes were placed on the side of the unit, symbolizing highway centerlines.

Some of the first units to receive the new look were 18 Ford Mustangs, which were purchased with seized proceeds from drug investigations at the cost of $11,300 per car. They were equipped with five-liter, 302 cubic inch, fuel injected engines and were chosen for their quick acceleration. They went from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds, as compared to the majority of Chevrolet Caprices in the fleet which took 12.4 seconds to reach 60 mph.

In 1992, under Gov. Edwin Edwards’ administration, the LSP fleet reverted back to the traditional white units and red lettering.  Slight modifications to the design were made over the course of several years to lead to the current Trooper unit.