‘Wheel’-life superheroes

Cinnaminson Police Department debuts truck with bold paint job

Cinnaminson Police Sgt. Mike Czarzasty with the department’s newly painted pickup truck, the latest addition to their fleet. The superhero design is aimed at making police officers more approachable.

Stephen Finn

The Sun

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the Cinnaminson Police Department’s new Ford F150 pickup truck!

Cinnaminson residents will soon be seeing this latest addition to the department’s fleet on patrol around town. The truck’s superhero-themed paint job is the work of artist Franny Drummond with Paintzoo Studios.

The truck will be replacing a vehicle with its own unique look that residents are probably familiar with, a Chevrolet Tahoe with flames airbrushed on the sides.

“After a certain amount of miles and years, it’s easier to not use it on the front lines because it can get too beat up,” said Sgt. Mike Czarzasty, who will be driving the new truck.

The new design features superheroes from the popular DC and Marvel comic book universes. The airbrush work was paid for by local sponsors like Lenny’s Towing and Recovery and Whistler’s Inn. Their contribution earned them spots on the truck. The names of the businesses who pitched in money are mixed in with the colorful cadre of comic book characters.

“I went with the superhero theme because kids and adults love it and also because anybody can be a superhero. You don’t have to have super powers, any little thing you do for someone can make you a superhero in their eyes,” said Czarzasty.

According to Czarzasty, the idea for the design grew over time. Drummond, the airbrush artist, is a big comic book fan and was really excited to do the job. He is a big supporter of community policing and wouldn’t normally get the chance to work on a police vehicle.

“He actually gave us more than we paid for. We got almost twice the paint job for the amount of the money that was donated,” said Czarzasty.

Czarzasty did not disclose the total amount of money raised by sponsors for the airbrush work given the fact that Drummond gave the department more than they originally commissioned for the paint job.

The superhero concept was also inspired by the fact that many people in the community think of police, fire and other emergency responders as real-life superheroes.

“Superheroes don’t always look like Superman or Batman,” said Czarzasty.

The department hopes the colorful design will attract attention and make officers more approachable. They think of it as a conversation starter that can open up lines of dialogue with the public.

Ghost-painted into the larger design of the truck are the badge numbers of previous Cinnaminson police officers who have passed. If one looks closely, they will see numbers like 2016, which belonged to Officer William Mines, or 2007 for Officer Russell Williams.

A special badge number featured on the truck belonged to former Cinnaminson resident and State Trooper Sean Cullen who was struck and killed by a vehicle at the scene of a car fire on I-295 in 2016.

Despite its flashy, comic book appearance, the new truck will be an active patrol car and will perform the same duties as any other police vehicle. The only other pickup truck in the department’s fleet is used for a K-9 unit and all of the equipment that goes along with it.

“The pickup end of it will definitely assist with all the stuff that I do. It makes things easier when I can just throw things in the back and go,” said Czarzasty.

The truck is being outfitted with lights, a radio and a cage for the back seat, all features that are needed for a fully functioning police vehicle. Czarzasty estimates the truck will be in service in the next couple of weeks.