Following recent City Council approval, the department will purchase a Lenco BearCat armored rescue/response vehicle from Lenco Armored Vehicles of Pittsfield, Mass. for $241,865.
The department will use federal forfeiture funds that were seized in connection with drug cases to pay for the vehicle.
Police currently are using a 1981 Chrysler PeaceKeeper armored vehicle that was acquired through a military surplus program. Officials said it’s no longer mechanically sound or dependable and its armor rating is substandard for protecting officers.
“We’ve had it in service more than 15 years. It’s outlived its useful life. More than once, we’ve taken it to a scene and had to tow it back to the garage,” said High Point Police Chief Marty Sumner. “This is something we’ve been wanting to try to replace for years, but obviously because of the cost, we really couldn’t do it. We couldn’t find grant money for it, and there wasn’t any way, really, we were going to get that in regular budgeted funds.”
Source: Pat Kimbrough for the High Point Enterprise.