Members of the Pittsburg Police Department are asking the city council for permission to spend approximately $175,000 to purchase an armored vehicle.The monies are already in the hands of local government. Some of the dollars have come from state grants. Others are available due to asset seizures.
Pittsburg Police Department officials reportedly said the vehicle would allow them to more effectively respond to volatile situations. It may even help save officers from bodily injury and/or death.
The total cost is reported to be just over $177,000. Money from the general fund is not being requested. Officers have said the current protocol involves them borrowing tactical vehicles from neighboring departments. This is ineffective, they said, and it wastes valuable time. They also say their request has nothing to do with upticks in crime rate.
Local crime rates are actually down in the past year. Violent crime, property crime and instances of arson have fallen more than 10% in the past 12 months.
It is instead more about having immediate access. The armored vehicle would be mostly used by SWAT officers but it would the vehicle would not belong to them. Every officer would be trained to use it. This training is important, considering it would be capable of transporting between 12 and 14 officers at any given time.
The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department is said to own a similar vehicle. Most other police departments do not. They have indicated a desire to make this type of purchase but they have said that the high price-tag is their biggest challenge.
It is unclear when the city council will make a final determination. Pittsburg Police Department officials will continue to stand by with their fingers crossed.