Thursday, July 13, 2006
Controversy Over City's New Armored Vehicle
A Bearcat Armored Vehicle similar to the City of Santa Fe Police New Vehicle.
There is a lot of comments in the Free New Mexican Web Site being made about the City Police Departments new Swat Armored Vehicle purchased with $250,000 of Homeland Security Money. Some are calling it a waste of money and others believe it is overkill. My guess is that the City was offered the opportunity to apply for this vehicle or maybe even offered the vehicle as part of the Homeland Security funding. If the City did not take up the offer it would have gone to someone else. These type of funds are earmarked for these purposes and once earmarked cannot be spent on other projects. I think the City Police would have been stupid to turn down this opportunity and with Gods help this may never be used but if its needed it would be there.
Some believe if we needed one in Santa Fe that we could just Borrow Albuquerque's. Borrowing one from Albuquerque would take hours as someone is not just sitting in it waiting to drive off where ever its needed. Just getting the approval and having a driver go pick it up and bring it down would take too much time. Lives would be lost waiting for it. I know that 5 years ago when a report was made saying that millions needed to be spent to rebuild the levys in New Orleans and every said it was too expensive and it was not needed. Now Billions are being spent to rebuild New Orleans because of the short sightedness.
This vehicle will also benefit all the surrounding area since we have Mutual Aid Agreements with the city and surrounding agency's. I could call on this vehicle if needed and the wait time might only be 45 minutes to get it verses hours for the City of Albuquerque to loan us theirs. This is also only available if they are not using theirs. It could be used at the penitentiary or jail if a major incident like the 1980's riot occurred. Some comments are that these type of incidents don't happen in Santa Fe. The truth is we have many, many, swat callouts between the City and the County as well as State Police. Because of the expertise of the swat teams almost all end without serious incidents or injures therefore the public does not hear about them. I for one would rather have a tool in my garage than trust that I could borrow the neighbors when I need it.