Over the few last years we have had numerous conversations with community members regarding our request to purchase an armored vehicle. Many of the concerns we heard from community members circulated over three main topics:
Did we already have an armored vehicle?
Prior to July of 2021, did not have an armored vehicle. We previously had an armored personnel carrier from 1998 -2019 that was returned to the Department of Justice.
Why couldn't we borrow this vehicle?
By relying on support from other agencies, response times and availability of neighboring armored vehicles was proven to not be reliable during critical incidents. One such incident occurred last year where a victim was shot 9 times and needed to be rescued prior to the 1-hour response time of the armored vehicle. https://local.nixle.com/alert/8151782/
These funds should be used for other programs (i.e. homeless, community outreach, etc.)
The request to purchase the armored vehicle was made under the Capital Improvement Plan Reserve (CIPR). Per our Financial Policies, the CIPR shall be maintained to cover unbudgeted capital improvement costs, to fund future capital and infrastructure improvements, and to fund anticipated one-time capital expenditures in the operating budget.
The rescue vehicle will only be used in situations to facilitate rescue operations, conduct evacuations, provide emergency medical aid in dangerous environments during rapidly evolving critical incidents having a potential of injury or death, and with high-risk pre-planned events. The vehicle's ballistic protection also provides an environment and opportunity for our officers to de-escalate incidents with potentially armed suspects.
For further information, read the policy on our Rescue Vehicle and watch the full Virtual Q&A video from 2020 below as Chief Berg dives deep into these questions and more.