The Oswego, Illinois, Village Board, approved the purchase of a new Lenco BearCat Model G2 Four-Door Armored Vehicle for its police department, according to Shaw Local News Network. The purchase will cost the town $251,136.
In a memo to the village board, Police Chief Jeff Burgner explained that, "the days of patrol officers setting up a perimeter and waiting for Special Response Teams to respond are no longer the common or even an acceptable approach to addressing" violent encounters in cases like school shootings and other firearms-related calls. He wrote that the front line patrol officers responding to these incidents need equipment like armored vehicles, calling such a purchase "invaluable."
The BearCat sits on a Ford F-550 chassis, making it functional on roadways, unlike other types of armored vehicles, according to Burgner's memo. It is also easier to drive, and does not require a specialized driver's license or spotter, like other armored vehicles. It is customizable, and can transport up to 10 individuals, as well as their tactical gear.
The village board also approved the purchase of 16 in-car video systems and equipment from Motorola Solutions for police officers. According to a memo submitted to the village board, a portion of the department's in-car cameras are no longer eligible for repair and replacement under their current service agreement. Sixteen in-car cameras need to be replaced. New M500 in-car cameras will be able to record at a higher resolution. The purchase will also include 53 new body-worn cameras and equipment. The total cost for the agreement with Motorola Solutions will cost the city $326,170.