Pink isn't normally a color associated with policing.

But thanks to Mother Nature, the official signage outside Tucson's newest cop shop is about the same shade as a flamingo.

The sign started out bright red in 2008 when the West-Side Police Service Center opened at 1310 W. Miracle Mile, at North Flowing Wells Road.

But three years of desert sunshine have taken their toll, fading the original paint job to its current color, said Gordon Hogrefe, who oversees maintenance of city-owned facilities.

"We would not have painted it that color on purpose," said Hogrefe, a facilities management supervisor for the city of Tucson.

When asked about the pink sign, Hogrefe at first wondered if someone had repainted it on the sly in solidarity with the fight against breast cancer, which has spawned everything from pink ribbons to pink gloves worn by pro football players.

But a quick visit to the site confirmed the more-likely suspicion that the once-crimson paint job had been bleached by sunlight.

Red paint doesn't tend to last long in Tucson, Hogrefe said.

A towering scarlet sculpture outside the downtown library for example, used to start turning pink every year or so until the city started ordering a higher-priced paint more resistant to ultraviolet rays, he said.

With the municipal budget so tight these days, the pink police sign may be around for a while.

"Most likely it will stay like that until there are funds for repainting," Hogrefe said. "It's a victim of deferred maintenance, like a lot of other things."

Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at or at 573-4138.