CA: Simi Valley PD Buy Bearcat Using Asset Forfeiture

From a Simi Valley Police Department press release:

The Simi Valley Police Department recently acquired a new and improved SWAT vehicle called a BearCat©. BearCat vehicles are typically referred to by law enforcement agencies throughout the world as being armored rescue vehicles with their primary use being to transport tactical officers to and from hostile situations and to assist with the recovery and protection of civilians in harm's way during violent or hostage incidents or encounters with armed offenders. 

The Simi Valley Police Department’s BearCat was manufactured by Lenco Armored Vehicles in Pittsfield, Massachusetts outside of Boston. Lenco built the Police Department’s BearCat based on the specific needs and requests of the Department’s SWAT Team. The vehicles specific abilities and accessories are not being released so the safety of the officers that operate it won’t be compromised. The Department is comfortable in saying that the BearCat houses a diesel engine capable of quickly moving this 20,000 pound vehicle which provides armored protection from a variety of firearms including handguns and rifles. Although the Simi Valley Police Department is the last agency in Ventura County to obtain this unique law enforcement tool, the wait was well worth it when you consider it has the latest of safety features available and was paid for through the use of the City’s Asset Seizure Program funds that weren’t available a few years ago. The benefit of waiting was that the BearCat’s $280,000 price tag was paid for at zero cost to tax payers. 

In its second day with the Police Department members of the SWAT Team took the BearCat to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for the Reagan National Defense Forum. Its presence was to ensure the safety of the dignitaries and attendees while the SWAT Team was on stand-by at the event. A week later, the BearCat was successfully deployed to a local park for a suicidal subject who had locked himself in a vehicle, was reported to be armed with a handgun and refused to surrender to law enforcement on scene. The use of the BearCat allowed the officers to safely approach the vehicle and detain the subject for a mental health evaluation. This incident marks the highly effective and diverse use of this new safety tool that assisted law enforcement personnel during a dangerous incident that resulted in no one being injured. 

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