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The city council is set to move along the purchase of a $196,000 armored vehicle for the police department at Wednesday evening’s committee of the whole meeting.

The vehicle model under consideration is the Ballistic Armored Tactical Transport, or BATT, which is manufactured by Phoenix-based The Armored Group and endorsed by the National Tactical Officers Association, of which Elgin is a member.

City Manager Sean Stegall said the imposing name belies the multipurpose nature of its use, and that the BATT will serve as a command vehicle in potentially dangerous situations.

Elgin police have had a Tactical Response Team in place since 1976. According to the committee of the whole information packer, since 2006, the TRT has been utilized during 12 barricaded subject call outs and 44 search warrant executions. Currently, Elgin’s TRT uses a bread truck that was donated to the city several years ago and converted to police use.

The plan is to pay for the BATT with drug asset forfeiture funding, of which Elgin has about $605,000. By federal guidelines, such money must be used to purchase drug enforcement-related equipment.

According to the meeting packet, the National Incident Management System adopted strengthened standards for crisis management after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. One of those requisites is that units such as Elgin’s TRT have an armored rescue vehicle at its disposal.

Source: Mike Danahey for Courier News.

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