MONROE, Ohio -- The Monroe Police Department hopes to add two armored vehicles to its fleet, but some members of the city council aren’t convinced the additions are necessary.
Monroe already has access to armored vehicles owned by Warren County and West Chester Township, but Officer Joshua King said Friday night that relying on vehicular loans from other jurisdictions can down police response time in moments of crisis.
"I think just to have it in case something were to happen is good preparation," said Monroe resident Bendetta Cope.
If the department were to acquire armored cars of its own, King said, it could respond quickly and thoroughly to emergency calls in the event of a natural disaster or SWAT situation. That’s why Police Chief Bob Buchanan requested that the city be put on a federal waiting list for a military surplus armored vehicle, and the Monroe City Council voted in favor of a resolution supporting that aquisition.
"It is a big vehicle," King admitted. "It is intimidating, but the purpose that we are getting it for is the protection of our officers and the protection of the people of our city."
Councilman Todd Hickman and Vice Mayor Suzi Rubin were the only members of the council to vote against the proposed addition to the police department’s stable.
Hickman told the Journal-News that he didn’t see the need for it, and his colleague Dan Clark said he was concerned about the appearance of police militarization.
Still, the first reading of the resolution passed. If the police department successfully acquires its requested vehicles, King estimated that their upkeep would cost around $1,500 each year.