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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICOPEE – On September 3, 2019, at the City Council Meeting, Mayor Richard J. Kos requested approval of a fund appropriation of $175,000.00. This amount was needed to fund the purchase of a used Lenco G1 BearCat for the Chicopee Police Department. The City Council approved the request in an 11-1 vote.
“I thank the City Council for their support for this initiative,” said Mayor Kos, “as our police need an armored transport to bring them safely to, and remove them safely from, active shooter situations or barricade situations while they maintain public safety in our city. We are preparing for events we hope never happen, but we will be prepared if they do.”
The name of the Lenco BearCat is an acronym for ballistic engineered armored response counter-attack truck. It is being purchased directly from Lenco, the largest designer and manufacturer of tactical armored security vehicles in the U.S. The BearCat that CPD is acquiring is not a military surplus vehicle. It is considered a civilian vehicle because it has a civilian frame (that of a Ford F550 truck). The vehicle, with its standard NIJ IV armor, 4WD system, nine-ton weight, 6.7 turbo diesel engine, and bulletproof windows, can carry up to 10 people through any unpredictable terrain. The BearCat has been the vehicle of choice for up-armored Humvees because of its affordability, low maintenance expenses, and superior armor level.
“Our men and women of law enforcement selflessly put their lives on the line every day to make our community safer, their the first to put themselves in harm's way and it is important to provide them with the best equipment possible. This Bearcat is designed to provide enhanced protection from a variety of threats during high-risk situations. The primary use for this vehicle would be to transport our tactical officers and to assist with the protection and rescue of civilians,” stated Police Chief William Jebb, “I would like to thank the Mayor and City Council for their continued support and commitment to public safety.”
The use of the armored truck is for protection when approaching an incident site, the most dangerous part of incident response. Currently, police team members approach in unarmored vehicles and are vulnerable. This is a multi-purpose armored vehicle for transporting tactical officers into a hostile environment, remove injured individuals to a safe location, and can breach through walls if necessary.
It will take approximately 90 days to receive this vehicle. In the meantime, the CPD will need to continue to borrow a similar vehicle from the Pittsfield Police Department, should the need arise.