The Salinas Police Department will be presenting the City's new SWAT Armored Rescue Vehicle (ARV) at today's City Council meeting, at the Rotunda, 5:00 p.m., December 17, 2013. The ARV will be parked on display in front of the Rotunda prior to the Council meeting from 2:30 p. m. to 5:00 p.m.
For the last ten years the Police Department's SWAT team has used a 1986 Ford money carrier (armored car), as the Department's rescue vehicle. For some time the converted armored car has been in very poor condition; the roof leaks water and the vehicle has been in constant need of mechanical repair. Due to its low ballistic rating the armored car never truly provided adequate protection.
Salinas Police personnel began exploring funding options for a replacement armored vehicle. The industry standard across the nation for SWAT Team armored vehicles has been the LENCO Bearcat or similar vehicle, typically costing over $250,000, clearly more money than the Police Department could afford. For several years the Department explored various funding options including applying for grants; however this proved unsuccessful. Based on the need for a replacement armored vehicle, the Department's SWAT team began exploring the option of acquiring a vehicle through the United States Government's 1033 Program. It is through the 1033 Program that the Department acquired a used ARV.
The 1033 Program was established by the United States Government as a means of reallocating government equipment for use by law enforcement agencies. The Salinas Police Department participated in the 1033 program for many years and has acquired equipment through this program in the past. A request for an armored vehicle was made through the 1033 Program and after approximately one year the Salinas Police Department was awarded the first armored vehicle of its type in California. These vehicles have been awarded to law enforcement agencies throughout the nation, with six to eight more pending for California law enforcement agencies. In researching the application of this vehicle for civilian use, officers found that several federal law enforcement agencies deploy ARV's throughout the nation.
In October of this year, an ARV acquired through this same program was deployed during a very violent and dangerous manhunt and standoff in Roseville, California. In that incident three police officers were wounded by an armed gunman. The armored vehicle was used to safely evacuate a number of civilians from the area during the prolonged manhunt for the suspect.
The ARV cost the United States Government $658,000 to manufacture and equip. The Salinas Police Department acquired the vehicle at no charge. The vehicle was used by the Army for training, had never been deployed abroad, and only had 7,600 miles of service. The Salinas Police Department incurred transportation costs (approximately $1,350) to drive the vehicle from the state of Washington to Salinas. Since the vehicle is a replacement vehicle, the Police Department's fleet size has not increased and maintenance costs will stay the same. Currently the ARV can and will be maintained by the City of Salinas Fleet maintenance division and uses over the counter civilian parts for replacement.
In order to prepare the ARV for law enforcement service in Salinas, paint, decals and other lighting equipment were acquired at a cost of approximately $10,800. The Salinas Police Department sought funding to paint the vehicle from the Office of Emergency Services. The Office of Emergency Services provided $8,000 to complete the project, further minimizing costs to the Salinas Police Department and the City of Salinas. The total cost to date incurred by the City of Salinas has been approximately $4,150.
The ARV weighs about 37,500 lbs., provides ballistic protection from handgun and rifle fire, and provides a high level of explosive blast protection. The ARV can provide transportation for up to 8-10 SWAT personnel. It has several storage boxes and areas of space for storage of tactical equipment and is equipped with run flat tires which will stay inflated if punctured. It also has an 18,000 pound winch attached to the front providing many alternatives for the vehicle's use. The ARV is fully equipped with emergency driving equipment and provides a platform to protect officers and the community from high-risk and potentially deadly situations. Just this summer the SPD SWAT Team served a high-risk search warrant where an incendiary device with a timer was located inside a residence. The ARV could have been used in this situation to provide blast protection to officers from the device.
The ARV will provide superior ballistic protection in high-risk situations. It will also provide the capability to rescue wounded or downed officers and civilians from positions we may not otherwise safely approach, and protect community members if they are forced to evacuate their homes.
While an imposing vehicle, it is important to note that the ARV will be used to protect officers and civilians within the community and save lives.
Any questions please contact the Department's SWAT Team Leader, Sergeant John Murray, 758-7164.