Danville Police Department increasing vehicle visibility

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) The Danville Police Department is upgrading it's patrol vehicles.
Blue cruise lights will stay on at all times in some of the cars including when an officer is parked or driving.

Toneshia Watkins/WDBJ7

After a spike in crime, Danville Police are doing something to increase awareness.

"It's something we've been looking at for a little while," Danville Police Lieutenant Michael Wallace said.

After months of planning, DPD has rolled out patrol vehicles with "cruise lights."

According to Lt. Wallace, It's just something DPD thinks could be useful for crime prevention and for visibility.

With the press of a button, the lights on the side of the light bar can be turned on and off from inside the vehicle.

The difference with the standard Danville Police lights is that when they come on, it usually means trouble. But with the new cruise lights, it's there so you can be aware in case you need the police.

"There's some argument out there that you ruin the ability to sneak up on people, but this car is clearly marked as police," Lt. Wallace said.

The idea is nothing new. It's currently used in larger cities including D.C. and Philadelphia.

"There are some studies that have attributed the lights to a reduction in crime."

Lt. Wallace says they know it won't stop all criminal activity...

"We're hoping that this increased visibility will deter some traffic, and some petty crimes as well. And you never know, it may deter somebody from committing some large scale crime because they see the vehicle."