Optimus Crime, Zeus and Copzilla are three of the names being given to new West Midlands Police vans by local school children.
Hundreds of pupils from half a dozen schools entered the competition, organised by the Police and Crime Commissioner and West Midlands Police, to name its latest vehicles.
Sgt. Alex Townsend and Abdullah from Daylesford Infant School who chose the name Optimus Crime.
The names put forward by the pupils were all excellent, but it was felt the winners had something a little bit special and managed to catch the imagination of the judges.
The names chosen for the vans are as follows:
1. Tividale Community Primary School, Oldbury: Zeus
2. Daylesford Infant, Solihull: Optimus Crime
3. Sacred Heart Primary, Birchfield: Proud to Protect
4. Priory Primary, Dudley: Jupiter
5. St Mary & St John Jr & Infant, Gravelly Hill: Kit
6. Alderman’s Green Com Primary, Coventry: Copzilla
The above names have been printed onto both sides of the vans and are being displayed proudly.
Each school held an internal competition amongst different classes and age groups, before the PCC and police officers selected the winner.
The Mercedes Sprinter vans have space for up to 10 police officers and one prisoner in a secure cage. They also come complete with storage for riot gear. The vans will be used for high profile public order incidents such as protests or football games.
The vans have all been upgraded and kitted out by Walsall firm, MacNeillie, to ensure they are secure, protected and durable.
Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, with the reception classes from St. Mary & St. John Junior School
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “These names are wonderful. They bring a smile to your face.
“When I heard all the entries I was amazed by the imagination, intelligence and creativity of our young people.
“There is a serious side to this too though. The new state of the art police vans will now be put to good use helping to fight crime and arrest criminals.”
Sergeant Andrew Edwards said: ” I have been astounded by the creativity & energy shown by the school children and the support provided by the teachers, who have worked very hard with us to make this a rewarding experience.
“I am also incredibly proud of the Police Officers and Staff who have devoted their own time to this initiative, truly capturing the imagination and spirit of the most important people in the communities we serve.
Policing has been extremely challenging in recent times but this is why it is all the more important to invest our time with young people – to make a better tomorrow. And that will be a much better place, with the help of Optimus Crime and his friends!”