JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Those with Jamestown City Council are proposing funding and purchase of a BearCat SWAT vehicle.
The idea was first proposed back on October 3 when the council \decided to take a closer look at an armored vehicle for the city’s SWAT team.
In a presentation by Police Chief Tim Jackson, alongside many SWAT members, Jamestown’s finest showed off the sheer firepower that the team goes up against in every call.
The Police Chief showed off what was collected in a SWAT raid last Thursday, which could have caused intense harm to the current vehicle and officers inside.
“What would that weapon do to the vehicle that you’re presently using now if you had a full Tac team in there,“ asked Councilman Russell.
“It would penetrate the vehicle,” stated Chief Jackson.
“So the only thing that would save those officers are their body armor,” asked Councilman Russell.
“That’s correct,” stated Chief Jackson.
“I can also say too that the handguns itself would probably go through the aluminum siding of the van that we currently ride in as well,” explained Lieutenant Piazza.
Since 2016, the SWAT team has been on 199 calls, 187 of which were search warrants.
Currently the SWAT team uses a standard van for calls, and in some cases the city’s animal control vehicle.
The closest vehicle similar to what the city is proposing to get is located in Buffalo, and with an emergency, first responders cannot wait for one to arrive.
“Right now we’re falling back to neighboring houses,“ stated Sergeant McKinley. “I would rather have somebody shoot at us behind a BearCat, than us behind some civilian’s house.”
In the end, the Police Chief wants his team to have the best equipment.
“We need to protect the protectors,“ explained Chief Jackson. “Because if they’re not protected, what are we going to do?”
The Jamestown SWAT team is one of only 27 in New York State to be officially trained and licensed.
The vehicle will cost the city roughly $250,000 dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funds to acquire, once the order is placed it would take around a year for the vehicle to arrive in Jamestown.