Brentwood approves purchase of armored police vehicle

Brentwood Police will soon receive their first-ever armored rescue vehicle.

City Council unanimously approved the $367,907 spending this week after hearing from Police Chief Tom Hansen about the need for the vehicle to help protect officers and others during crisis situations.

While some towns undergoing police reform have turned away from these vehicles because of their militaristic look and what they symbolize to some, no one in Brentwood has spoken out against the proposed purchase, which although an ARV, is not a military vehicle.

Chief Hansen told the council that in the past two years the Brentwood Police Department has needed an armored rescue vehicle on at least four occasions. In all but one of these situations, police had to rely on mutual aid to keep residents and officers safe while in the fourth incident, no mutual aid was able to respond, he said. Incidents included high-risk arrest warrants for potentially armed individuals, a possible armed criminal threatening suicide and two armed residents in mental health crisis.

“I’m sorry to be here tonight to ask that,” Hansen told the board. “I wish I never had, but I think we all know it’s escalating in our communities, across the United States. And they’re not just a tiny bit, they’re increasing by 50-60% per year We are seeing more incidents of active shooters, hostage taking and people putting themselves in positions where they harm innocent people.

The money for the ARV, a MedEvac G2, will come from the department’s operating budget, but because the city approved a new military use policy in April, police must now first seek council approval to any such equipment if it is $50,000 or more.

Hansen said some might ask, “Why Brentwood?” since it’s a relatively small community, but such incidents can happen anywhere, he said, citing examples of recent school and mall shootings in small towns.

“I’m sorry, if I could solve this problem, I wouldn’t be a police chief. I would write books, he said. “My job is to prepare my officers to respond to incidents that need to be resolved immediately. I don’t have time when someone is shooting in a movie theater and everything. Essential seconds and minutes.

ARV, Hansen said, can be used for a variety of critical incidents such as violent crimes and the de-escalation of armed suspects with mental health episodes.

It will also be used for rescue operations, he said, noting that the ARV is equipped with rescue equipment and can safely deliver specially trained personnel and equipment to the scene. The equipment can also be used to evacuate those who are physically unable to safely escape an active shooter situation.

“My goal, and the goals of my officers, is to get casualties out of the hot zone or the cold zone as soon as possible,” Hansen said, noting that the ARV has drop-down doors that can be used to recover. trapped and injured victims. .

Councilwoman Susannah Meyer asked if he was equipped with weapons.

“No.. but it’s fully armored and can stop up to a .50 caliber bullet, a big bullet,” said the non-military armored vehicle leader. “It’s different from what some of our neighboring towns use.”

No one spoke against the spending, but resident Rod Flohr said he approved of the purchase.

“It’s unfortunate that we live in a country that for some reason just swims and guns, guns, guns, guns – there’s more guns than there are people in this country,” he said. “And it’s so unfortunate that enough people have these things and sooner or later someone thinks it’s a good idea to use them for something.”

Flohr added that “police officers are not sacrificial lambs; we have to protect our police.

Council members agreed, with Meyer recounting a chase in his own backyard with a suspect carrying a gun.

“So this is happening in our sweet little town,” she said. “Fortunately, there were no injuries or fatalities.

An armored rescue vehicle could not only help keep residents safe, “but ensure our officers have all the tools they need to do their job and protect themselves,” Meyer said.

“I agree with everyone,” Mayor Joel Bryant said. “It is something whose price does not correspond to the cost of not have it if we ever needed it. And so I fully support it.

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