A contract to purchase a $298,075 four-door diesel Lenco BearCat armored vehicle with a seven-inch vertical gun-port upgrade for the Apache Junction Police Department’s SWAT unit will be considered by the City Council Jan. 19.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 300 E. Superstition Blvd.
The four-wheel-drive vehicle is to be painted urban green and have a rotating hatch, back-up camera system with monitor, and a roof-mounted remote-control spotlight, according to the quote from the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, company.
Funds from the Arizona Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act will pay for the vehicle to be used by AJPD’s Special Weapons and Tactics unit, Police Chief Thomas Kelley said in a memo to the council.
“The AJPD has previously requested that the city purchase a special-purpose vehicle that is manufactured for current SWAT operations each budget year. Due to continued economic reasons and now COVID-19, AJPD has not had sufficient funds to procure such a vehicle,” he said. “This year the city received Arizona CARES Act funds that are to be utilized for law-enforcement purposes.”
The city has never previously purchased a special-purpose vehicle in support of and for the protection of SWAT since 1989 when the unit was begun, instead relying on used vehicles from other agencies, he said.
In 2007, AJPD used an old bank coin vehicle purchased from the Goodyear Police Department for $1.
That was later replaced with a 1993 Ford armored bank truck obtained from the Mesa Police Department, the chief said in the memo.
“This vehicle was a step up from the old bank coin vehicle but still did not provide necessary support for modern SWAT team threats. This vehicle is still currently being utilized but has had continued mechanical issues and provides limited ballistic protection for SWAT personnel,” Chief Kelly said in the memo.