Council Rejects $300,000 Appropriation For New Vehicle; Returns the MRAP

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Civilian-Vehicle-1b
Brett Lee proposed the Lenco BearCat armored response and rescue vehicle.

The city of Davis will be returning the MRAP (mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle), as the council reaffirmed its August vote by a 3-2 margin, with Councilmembers Brett Lee and Rochelle Swanson dissenting. While the council narrowly rejected both a friendly amendment and a substitute motion to appropriate $300,000 for a BearCat or a similarly situated civilian armored vehicle, there seemed a general consensus to explore those options.

Councilmember Brett Lee attempted to separate the issues. “I’m not in favor of the militarization of the police,” he said. “Then there’s the question of, do the police have a legitimate need for a protective vehicle?” He would answer that question, “Based on my due diligence over the past few weeks, I personally believe that they do need a protective vehicle.”

He stated that, given the reality that he is not in favor of the militarization of the police but believes we need a protective vehicle, “We are confronted by budget realities.” All things being equal, he said, “I would choose the civilian version because it’s clearly more appropriate.

“But that’s not the choice,” he said. “The choice is the free item which has the negative aspects that it’s a former military vehicle and not designed for civilian use. The flip side is do we spend money for what would probably be the more appropriate vehicle for the community?”

Brett Lee then showed the council an alternative vehicle that would be more appropriate for civilian use.

Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis told Councilmember Lee that he was willing to put resources into a vehicle that provides protection to the police, however he would argue that the MRAP is really not an appropriate vehicle for our community.

“I would be very willing to put resources into a vehicle that provided protection,” he said. “It’s not just that symbols matter, which they do. I tried to speak to that. Some people agreed with that perspective, some people didn’t.

“Fundamentally I don’t think the vehicle, the MRAP, is adapted to our situation,” he continued. “It does one thing well, it protects people inside.” Citing military literature, he argued, “There’s a lot of disagreement about the value of this vehicle.

“One of the reasons we’re seeing them show up in our communities is because they haven’t worked very well except for one thing – as you’re going down a road, a pretty straight road, a flat road, if a bomb goes off, it will protect everybody inside. That we know. Everyone agrees with that,” the Mayor Pro Tem explained. “Where the disagreement comes in is what happens if you have to wheel it into a tight spot.” He said up hills, uneven terrain, even up driveways are problematic for the vehicle.

“What happens in an urban environment?” he continued. “The consensus there is that it’s not very well adapted.” He called it “a product of really a broken military system. There were five companies that made these.” He said when they “got into theater they couldn’t even find the parts to repair these because they’re specialized parts.”

The mayor pro tem said that we have been told it’s just a truck and the cost to repair it is minimal, but “the reality is that the experience in military situations around the world is that it’s been a complete headache.”

Robb Davis said, “If I were to make a prediction today… I would say in about five years there’s going to be a lot of jurisdictions that are looking to get rid of these things. They just aren’t adapted to the situation.

“I believe very personally that we need to create a very clear line of separation between military and police,” he stated. He reiterated his trust and appreciation for the local police, but added, “I said it will hurt [that trust], it will, if we bring military equipment in.” He emphasized that he was more worried about the decisions by civilian leaders than by the police in situations such as what arose in Ferguson or at UC Davis on the Quad.

“Given all of that,” he said “I have moved in the last six weeks. I’ve moved to an understanding that the situation in our city has changed over the past ten years… That it is more dangerous, that there are more weapons. That there are more people with mental health problems with access to those weapons.

“One of the things that should disturb all of us is that one of the groups that you [Chief Landy Black] are concerned about are people that are tactically trained, who know how to use high powered weapons and the tactics to counter your tactics, and have PTSD,” he said. “Who are those people? They’re former military. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m a little bit offended that the US Military would send us a $600,000 piece of equipment… but not give us the wherewithal to treat in our own communities the root cause of violence. I think it’s something we need to look [at] in our hearts and ask if that’s the direction we want our country to go.”

Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis moved the item, and Lucas Frerichs seconded it. Councilmember Rochelle Swanson said that she could not support it without an amendment.

“I personally would like to see a motion to move forward where we get a BearCat, where we get something that is more appropriate,” she said. “I think that we have an obligation to make sure that everybody goes home safe at the end of their shift. I agree, that the militarization of the police, I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. But I also don’t like that we have a vehicle that currently is in disrepair and can’t run.”

She added, “I can’t support the motion that is here unless there is some sort of amendment added to it.”

Brett Lee offered a friendly amendment “which would set aside $300,000 from this current year’s budget in anticipation of a vehicle such as this.” He explained that he was not comfortable sending the MRAP back unless there was something to replace it with and this would “actually set money aside so we’re confident that we’re actually serious about having a protective vehicle for our community.”

However, neither Robb Davis nor Lucas Frerichs were agreeable to the friendly amendment. Robb Davis was concerned about the expenditure of money on this year’s budget.

Lucas Frerichs was appreciative of the alternative vehicle and thinks the look is more acceptable to community values. He suggested that, since the council just hired a new city manager, “I would also like to see input from our new city manager as well in this process.” He said, “The process that we’ve laid out needs to move forward before we can accurately identify the dollar amount, either in this year’s budget or next year’s budget.”

At that point, Rochelle Swanson made a substitute motion seconded by Brett Lee that would authorize up to $300,000 for the purpose of a BearCat.

Interim City Manager Gene Rogers pointed out that the next meeting will have a close out on the budget for this fiscal year and an update on the picture for the next fiscal year. He argued that this should have some attachment to the budget process itself for making such an allocation. “It would at least be prudent to wait for that period of time to pass and take into consideration the totality of your financial situation in the budget.

“One question you would want to ask the police is what are your needs, whether it’s personnel or equipment and how would you prioritize it?” he pointed out. “I think you should be maybe be a little bit patient in terms of making an allocation tonight without having at least the grounding of the fiscal implications of doing that with respect to the budget.”

Mayor Dan Wolk would add, “I see [this] as discussion, as part of our budget process.” He added that we need to consider the extent for this vehicle and how that need compares to the other needs of the police department. Ultimately, he agreed with Mr. Rogers, in that he favored it being part of the budget discussion.

The question that arose is how the council would pay for this kind of allocation. Brett Lee pointed out that next year the city would consider a request for a $500,000 new fire engine.

The substitute motion would fail 3-2.

Councilmember Rochelle Swanson asked that the questions be bifurcated so that the process portion of the motion could be approved with her support, and she would vote against the way in which the vehicle would be returned without assurance of the allocation for a new vehicle.

The motion passed 3-2 and the MRAP will be returned.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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87 thoughts on “Council Rejects $300,000 Appropriation For New Vehicle; Returns the MRAP”

  1. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > T he city of Davis will be returning the MRAP

    Good to hear the MRAP is going, but I’m scared to hear that we almost spent $300K we don’t have to replace a free vehicle we don’t need with a new $300K vehicle we don’t need (that does not look as “scary”)…

    P.S. Where did you get the 1990’s camera phone to take the photos in this post?

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      No that was my iphone taking pictures of the overhead project. Sorry for the crappy quality. Maybe Brett will send me the actual photos.

  2. Tia Will

    I’ve moved to an understanding that the situation in our city has changed over the past ten years… That it is more dangerous, that there are more weapons. That there are more people with mental health problems with access to those weapons.”

    They’re former military. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m a little bit offended that the US Military would send us a $600,000 piece of equipment… but not give us the wherewithal to treat in our own communities the root cause of violence. I think it’s something we need to look in our hearts and ask if that’s the direction we want our country to go.”

    As a doctor with a firm belief in the value of primary prevention over attempts at disease control or cure in an advanced stage, my preference would be to withhold judgement, attend the planned forums, gather all the information that we can as concerned community members and then advocate ( and be willing to pay for ) what we decide is the best route to providing protection for all of our citizens. I stand firmly with Mayor Pro Tem Davis in his belief that we need to be focusing on the root cause of violence while providing adequate protection for all members of the community.

  3. ryankelly

    I would support the civilian version.

    However, if the City has $300K, I would support restoring the tree guys jobs, or funding for teen programs, or, or, or…..

  4. Anon

    So now the root cause of crime in our community is former military vets with PTSD?  That seems like a sweeping generalization if there ever was one.  Does the city have the funds for a $300,000 armored vehicle to protect police?  There isn’t enough money to make the necessary repairs to our city’s infrastructure, e.g. roads, bike paths, buildings, pools.  So I suspect what could have been a very cheap $6000 fix to a very real problem, of police having to go into dangerous situations unprotected, just won’t get addressed.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      What Robb said was that Chief Black expressed specific concern about elements in the community who were mentally unstable and highly trained on weapons and tactics, and those individuals are military veterans primarily.

  5. hpierce

    David… you mention a bifurcated motion by Davis… wasn’t there a second motion, related to staff recommendation 1?  Was there such a motion?  Nature?  Vote?

    Or did you wish to focus on only one aspect?

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Sorry the process motion – recommendation two of the staff report was passed unanimously.  I can see how that wasn’t as clear as intended.

  6. Edgar Wai

    “One of the things that should disturb all of us is that one of the groups that you [Chief Landy Black] are concerned about are people that are tactically trained, who know how to use high powered weapons and the tactics to counter your tactics, and have PTSD,” he said. “Who are those people? They’re former military. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m a little bit offended that the US Military would send us a $600,000 piece of equipment… but not give us the wherewithal to treat in our own communities the root cause of violence. I think it’s something we need to look [at] in our hearts and ask if that’s the direction we want our country to go.”

    In the case of Royal Oak raid, do we know whether the suspect drug makers/dealers are former military? Even if the were former military, are all drug makers/dealers with high-powered rifles former military?

    At the moment the US Military is giving out the MRAP, the value of an MRAP to them is not $600K, it is way less than that because the war was winding down. Its value to the US Military could be even negative. But it has value to civilian use. If the US Military needs $10K just to dispose of one MRAP, by giving it away, fiscally, both the US Military AND the DPD would be saving money for whatever else they want to do. This is a case where one entity giving away something they don’t need for an entity that could make use of it. It is a Pareto improvement transaction.

    There is no resource the US Military could gain by not giving away the MRAP. The gain only occurs when the MRAP is accepted so that both parties reduces their expenses.

    Currently the US Military has <a href=”http://www.ptsd.va.gov/”>this</a> to acknowledge the issue of PTSD. Whether one agrees with whether they have done enough is a separate question.

    I do not know what Davis does in terms of preventative measures to avoid people from becoming drug maker/dealers and arming themselves with high-powered rifles.

    As of now there is no improvement in dealing with criminals such as those drug maker/dealers. There is no evidence that the council had done anything to help the situation DPD faces. There is also no evidence of any will to make any improvement or to take any responsibility.

    I am not comfortable with the seeming lack of logic and ethical concerns in Robb’s justification. I consider Robb unequipped to be making this decision. That makes Robb a liability for this kind of decisions.

    There are several levels of competence in community decision making:

    1. Having the will to address concerns from all stakeholders
    2. Having the ability to see the relation responsibilities among the stakeholders
    3. Having the ability to rank proposals fairly and correctly
    4. Having the ability to make a decision based on realistic constraints
    5. Having the creativity to generate better solution proposals

    For this issue Robb had demonstrated none of the qualities. I attribute his lack of competence in dealing with this issue to his seeming unyielding distaste for the US Military. I am still hopeful that Robb would exercise his capacity in decision where nothing would invoke his unyielding distaste, but the fact that that unyielding distaste could factor into a decision that would put someone else’s life at higher risk is inexcusable.

    If you consider a population of citizens, many of them would not qualify to be a council member because they lack the competence to make the kind of decision at the level concerning a city. The need to address concerns from different ideologies and stakeholders is an emergent demand. It is not an ability a person could gain from just making personal decisions. 90% of the people coinciding to making the same personal decision does not make any of them qualify to make decision at the council level.

    To me Robb is not showing enough qualification to be serving that position. I am targeting Robb because I voted for him and I know of no other way to let him know the issues with his decision making. I find that to be my responsibility to let him know that I do not support him if he is going to keep making decisions in this fashion, in the form of immediate negative feedback.

    It would be irresponsible if don’t speak up and the image of support would perpetuate. I hope that this negative feedback is also considered information and constructive.

    1. Dave Hart

      Edgar, interesting take.  I had the exact opposite response.  I think Robb Davis has shown true leadership in looking at the underside of this entire drive to militarize police forces.  The logical conclusion to taking ‘free’, leftover military hardware is that the entire U.S. becomes like an armed camp where all of us tacitly accept the fact that we must live out our lives so afraid of each other that we depend on military grade weaponry to be the final arbiter and guarantor of our pursuit of happiness.  No thanks, Edgar.

      1. Frankly

        I think you have a fanciful story line here.  I tend to focus on the practical and real.

        First, there is no “drive to militarize the police force”.  The use and reuse of equipment that happens to be the same or similar for the military and the police is simply that… and not some larger conspiracy of some to make the U.S. into an “armed camp”.

        Using your logic either the police are being made into criminals by using the same guns, or the criminals are moving into law enforcement for similar reasons.  That is just absurd.

        These things are just tools.  You and others seem fixated on the symbolism rather than the practicality of need and utility.  Why you are at it, why not eliminate all the weapons and body armor that the police use, since the military uses those things too?

        1. Dave Hart

          No conspiracy needed.  If, as a society, you decide to use force more and more, it becomes the natural default solution to every problem.  The fact is, there is an unprecedented amount of military hardware kicking around looking for a home.  Pushing it out into the civilian homeland isn’t a vision of how I want to live.  Robb Davis said it very well when he mentioned that there are billions for hardware and next to nothing for figuring out how to live differently.  Yes, these things are just tools.  And when every problem is seen as a war problem, there is only one tool  that offers a solution.

        2. Frankly

          Pushing it out into the civilian homeland isn’t a vision of how I want to live.  Robb Davis said it very well when he mentioned that there are billions for hardware and next to nothing for figuring out how to live differently.

          Although I get your and Robb’s drift, I cannot agree with the inference that we are not spending on “different living”.   All you need to do is to compare defense/military spending and non-defense spending trended for the last 60 years.  As a percentage of GDP, defense spending as fallen significantly while non-defense spending has blown through the roof.

          Maybe we are not spending our money on the right non-defense things, but we are spending boatloads of money to try and help people so they don’t go off the rails and shoot at cops.

          I would not confuse how I want to live with reality.  But more importantly, I would not confuse the priority of needs and wants.

      2. Edgar Wai

        Hello Dave,

        I don’t have a problem if the police decides not to use military hardware. I have a problem when the city decides that the police may not use military hardware when the council and the normal citizens are not the ones who have to deal with the situation.

        That is where the ethics of the decision to return the MRAP breaks down. Do you see the difference between you deciding something for yourself and taking the risk, versus you deciding something for yourself and asking someone else to take the risk?

        If you know your neighbor is a meth dealer, there is actually nothing stopping you from confronting/convince that neighbor peacefully to stop. You get to choose whatever legal and peaceful means you have.

        1. Tia Will

          Edgar

          Where your question about taking the risk breaks down is this. The police argument is not just about the protection of the police, it is about the protection of the police and the public. It is the fundamental job of the police to protect the public. Therefore the means of protecting the public, namely each of us, becomes the direct business of each of us. After all, we are paying for the police to provide the protection that we desire. I believe that our citizens either directly, or through our elected officials have every right to advocate for how we prefer to be protected.

          I have very strong feelings about this partially because I do not see the world in terms of “good guys and bad guys” as the police and many citizens do. I see every human being, even police, as being capable of making good decisions and bad decisions. All make some decisions based on their intellect, training and desire to do good in the world and some based on misunderstanding of situations, unwillingness to see things differently, feeling that they are compelled or under orders to behave a certain way, desire to impose their will on others ( the pepper spraying incident ) or sheer fear.

          People frequently make decisions in areas in which they have no expertise but which will affect their day to day lives. To say that their lack of expertise disqualifies them from making decisions that effect them would rapidly bring our world to a screeching halt. Robb was not elected to have expertise in each and every question that comes before the council. He was elected because people trusted him to use his own best judgement, not because his judgement would invariable coincide with their own. I believe that this is what he has done.

        2. sisterhood

          Tia brought up the possibility of law enforcement making decisions occasionally on the “misunderstanding of situations”. That is what worries me about giving them the MRAP: Often, cops do understand the situation they encounter. But if they misunderstand, with the MRAP, it’s a scary situation for the public they’re sworn to protect.

  7. Frankly

    It’s not just that symbols matter, which they do. I tried to speak to that. Some people agreed with that perspective, some people didn’t.

    Reactionaries and people afflicted with symbolism hypersensitivity are very costly to our community.  They are costly in dollars since we will eventually have to spend some to acquire another less-symbolic protective vehicle… but more importantly to me they are costly in unnecessary added risk of injury or death of our police.  The former can be excused, but I don’t think the latter can.  Only if we never have any incident where the MRAP would have clearly prevented some tragic result, will those that demanded we return it because of their strong emotional reaction over symbolism… will they never have to be held accountable for their opinions and decisions.   There was nothing practical and rational about this decision.   But at least we are consistent in our lack of practicality and rationality.

      1. theotherside

        Yeah we read it, apparently the MRAP cannot drive up hill but did its job in Afghanistan…a very hilly country.  Also, it only stops roadside bombs outside US borders, it would be unreasonable to conclude that it stops bullets.

        My offer to drive the tank to Woodland stands, next topic please.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          Actually what Robb said was quite the opposite, it worked at protecting lives within the vehicle, but the military has been giving them away due to the limited utility of the vehicle and the high maintenance costs.

        2. Frankly

          The military has been giving them away because the military is always interested in updating equipment.  But the determination of coasts and utility for the military and for police are separate and different.

          Here is my simple fact pattern.

          1. We have an existing vehicle covering the same utility/need.   There was never a controversy about the existence of that vehicle.

          2. The existing vehicle is proven to be inadequate and has high maintenance costs.

          3. We were provide a FREE replacement vehicle with much greater utility and lower maintenance costs.

          You can throw all the twaddle you want to at this decision, but these simple facts are all that needed to be considered.

          1. Matt Williams

            Frankly, are the risks any different that what the DPD currently incur with the Peacekeeper-supported joint Davis/West Sac SWAT Team in place?

            Given that West Sac has already procured a replacement for the Peacekeeper itself, is the alternative assessment actually missing?

      2. theotherside

        The Village has spoken and I’m all for it leaving.  I’m simply pointing out that it is based on a stretch and faulty reasoning.  Those two things are the cornerstone of the current neo Democratic state.  It’s all moot since the joint W Sac/Davis SWAT team will be implementing their ARV anyway.  Oh plus the $300K the Council will need to divert now from where ever else that money was needed.  I’m sure we will be reading about that over and over sometime soon.

      3. Michelle Millet

        I think Robb’s research would be more relevant if we were deciding on whether or not to purchase the vehicle.  Is the MRAP the perfect vehicle? No. But it is free and we have it. I don’t understand the urgency to send it back. Why not keep it until a more suitable vehicle can be obtained?

        1. Matt Williams

          Michelle, the sharing of the MRAP that West Sacramento recently procured is free also, and the maintenance costs for that MRAP are half of what a Davis-only MRAP are. Bottom-line, a more suitable vehicle actually has already been obtained.

          I fully support your support of Brett Lee’s original motion regarding this whole MRAP process. However, in the ad hoc community dialogue, with its accompanying ad hoc research, it appears to me that the sharing/cooperation agreement we have had with West Sac since 1990 for the Peacekeeper armored vehicle is the best alternative for serving us well going forward.

      4. Edgar Wai

        I am not sure how you could qualify the conclusions Robb made.

        “One of the reasons we’re seeing them show up in our communities is because they haven’t worked very well except for one thing – as you’re going down a road, a pretty straight road, a flat road, if a bomb goes off, it will protect everybody inside. That we know. Everyone agrees with that,” the Mayor Pro Tem explained. “Where the disagreement comes in is what happens if you have to wheel it into a tight spot.” He said up hills, uneven terrain, even up driveways are problematic for the vehicle.

        Arguing that the MRAP is not a swiss army knife does nothing to reject that it fills the functional role of being a mobile bullet-proof object. That alone is a sufficient reason to qualify the MRAP as something useful.

        The turning radius of the MRAP is that of a dump truck. The slope it can go is 30 degrees.

        “What happens in an urban environment?” he continued. “The consensus there is that it’s not very well adapted.” He called it “a product of really a broken military system. There were five companies that made these.” He said when they “got into theater they couldn’t even find the parts to repair these because they’re specialized parts.”

        Whether something is designed or adapted to a situation is irrelevant. What is relevant is the comparison between the object and its alternative. To argue that an object is not designed for a certain context is insufficient to reject the use of the object unless there is something better suited for the job.

        Regardless whether you have a tool specifically designed to resolve a situation, the situation that needs to be resolved exists. The primary question is the relative question whether a tool is better than the existing options, not whether the tool is a theoretical best.

        To reject an object by the argument that it is not well-adapted, is to accept another existing object that is better-adapted. Without supporting the alternative, the argument is moot because the real argument would have to be that the problem is not worth solving, or the solution is unaffordable.

        The 1033 program provides free surplus parts. The responsibility of operation safety and maintenance cost issues should be placed on the Davis PD. The DPD already has the MRAP, already drove it around. They should take the responsibility to pick something they find safe and affordable. If the MRAP is so unsafe that the police would rather not be in it, they would be the first to reject the MRAP.

        From an account about the peacekeeper [ref]:
        “Some of the high-powered rounds that have been used in incidents in and around the Fox Valley in the last few years probably would have penetrated our Peacekeeper,” Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson said…. Closer to home, the Neenah SWAT team bailed out of the Peacekeeper and jumped behind a concrete wall during a standoff on U.S. 41 last August because of concerns the truck didn’t offer adequate protection from possible police sniper crossfire.

        It is possible that the police does not know or acknowledge the any critical issue of the MRAP. It is possible that the particular MRAP they got was defective and would break down en route just like the swambulance. Regardless, that level of decision should be made by the police, who should be or become competent in checking or having their equipment checked, and decide whether to give their vote of confidence that they could use it. That level of decision is not for the council to make.

  8. Barack Palin

    From reading some of the council member’s reasons for getting rid of the MRAP imo they really had to do a stretch to come up with what they thought were valid points.

    1. Davis Progressive

      how so?  robb researched the issue, discovered that there were problems with repair that were not accounted for by chief black and discovered that they are of limited utility.  even brett and rochelle agreed that other vehicles were more appropriate and not just because of sensibilities.

      1. Matt Williams

        If I had been voting I would have voted to return the MRAP, but mostly because the MRAP that West Sac had already procured should be more than sufficient to replace the existing Peacekeeper that supports the joint Davis/West Sac SWAT Team. Having two armored vehicles replace one armored vehicle doesn’t make fiscal sense, nor does it make sense from an assets owned/shared perspective.

        However, if we are going to make an apples to apples comparison it would be spending $0 in capital for an armored vehicle, plus transportation costs to get it to Davis, and then adding on that vehicle’s annual maintenance to spending $300,000 in capital for an armored vehicle, plus transportation costs to get it to Davis, and then adding on that vehicle’s annual maintenance. The private sector $300,000 alternative would have had maintenance costs as well.

          1. Matt Williams

            Agreed, but the maintenance of the $300,000 vehicle may also be more expensive than advertised.

  9. DavisBurns

    I was surprised the MRAP opponents weren’t there.  Guess they thought it was a done deal. I support sending it back and I question the need for an armored vehicle in this community.  And, if our finances are as bad as they are presented in this blog, I do not support spending $300,000 on an armored vehicle.  I don’t see how heroin deaths equal davis is dangerous for police equals we need an armored vehicle.  Heroin in the community might put users at risk but I rank meth, which has been here for decades, as a bigger threat to the community than heroin.

    this is a safe sleepy little community and the police may be afraid but I can’t find a single police death from a gun shot in the history of the town.

    1. theotherside

      So will you be OK with the expenditure if an officer is killed serving a warrant similar to the one in Royal Oak where multiple military style rifles were located?  That warrant was based on a meth sales case BTW.  Guess what, your sleepy little community has gang members and drug dealers and higher violent crime rate than West Sacramento.  I’m all for opposition but don’t put blinders on and make ridiculous claims.

      1. Dave Hart

        Speaking of “ridiculous claims” what is the source or basis of your claim that the city of Davis has a higher violent crime rate than West Sacramento? Assuming you can put some reference to that, why is it that the DPD and City Council have not made it a topic for discussion?

        1. theotherside

          UCR.  I do not have the exact numbers in front of me other than homicides.  In 2013 Davis had 3 homicides to W Sac’s 1.  Sexual assaults were also higher in Davis in 2013.  I didn’t look at assaults, cause after rape and murder it really didn’t matter anymore.  Would you advertise that if you were on the Council?

        2. Davis Progressive

          the homicide numbers are an anomaly, prior to 2012 there hadn’t been a homicide in davis in nearly a decade, suddenly you had one in 2012 and three in 2013.  is that a fluke or a trend?  we’ll see.

          1. Don Shor

            [moderator] I’d like to ask that you and others avoid these kind of sweeping generalizations about ‘liberals’ ‘conservatives’ etc.

      2. Don Shor

        Officers from the Yolo Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Davis Police Department SAFE (Special Assignments and Focused Enforcement) Team and several allied agencies (Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Woodland Police Department, West Sacramento Police Department, Yolo County Probation Department, California Department of Corrections Special Service Unit, Yolo County Bomb Squad, Sacramento Police Department, California Highway Patrol), served search warrants on five residences in the Royal Oaks trailer park in Davis.

        https://local.nixle.com/alert/5273244/
        Ten agencies, should work out to about $30,000 each for a shared vehicle.

    2. Jim Frame

      I can’t find a single police death from a gun shot in the history of the town.

      As I’ve posted before, there was one.  Officer Douglas Cantrill (after whom the street on which the new police station was named) was shot and killed on H Street on September 7, 1959.

  10. Davis Progressive

    something that struck me while watching this last night, shelly bailes gets up there and gives this heart felt speech on why she switched her position.  in it she said something like, ‘i hope we never have to use it,’ that sounds good except that the police are planning to use it regularly in situations like royal oak – so the idea that we hope we never have to use it is bs.

    but that leads me to the next point, we are probably talking about using it five to ten times a year. so why again do we need one of our own? well rochelle argues that this is about davis values, but if you’ve ever watched the police in action, i’m not sure how that is relevant.

    1. Matt Williams

      Come on DP … regularly?

      The record shows that in the past five years the existing armored vehicle has been deployed a total of 43 times, three-quarters of which (approximately 32 times) were in West Sacramento and one-quarter of which (approximately 11 times) were in Davis. That is 11 deployments (one of which was Royal Oak where it arrived, was parked out of sight of any of the five trailers, and waited at the ready should the situation have escalated to the point where its armor would have helped the police affect a rescue) in 60 months … approximately two deployments a year.

      You are clearly a very smart and educated man, but in this case you appear to be letting your gut fears override your brain.

      1. Davis Progressive

        i was estimating five to ten per year if they were going to use it for high risk warrants.  11 times in the last five years, really makes my point that there is little justification for davis to have its own vehicle.

        1. Matt Williams

          I absolutely agree there is not enough justification for Davis to have its own armored vehicle. The 24-year Davis/West Sac joint use of the current Peacekeeper clearly says the current system is working. I can’t see any reason to change it. But your statement led me to believe that you felt that simply owning an armored vehicle (whether alone or in concert with West Sac) would cause the Davis Police to be looking for opportunities to use it more frequently than they have historically. if I misread what you were saying, please accept my apology.

      2. Dave Hart

        I would like to know how many times it was actually fired on in each jurisdiction.  After all, isn’t that the justification for this vehicle, to protect officers?

        1. Matt Williams

          I don’t know the answer, but my suspicion is zero times in Davis, perhaps zero in West Sac. Take the Royal Oak deployment as an example. The deployment was to deal with an “if” situation. However, due to good police work the suspects were apprehended at a location remote from the assault weapons cache prior to the commencement of the raid on the actual structures. Given the drive time from West Sac to Davis (at what I have heard second hand is a top speed of 30 MPH for the Peacekeeper), proactive deployment to a close in, but non visible location near Royal Oak was a solid decision IMO.

          With that said, I think we can all agree that all officers are better (and more safely) protected if their policing procedures proactively defuse threats without having the armored vehicle actually fired upon.

        2. Edgar Wai

          Why would a criminal intentionally fire at a target that is meant to be bullet proof? The moment the criminal starts firing, the police could fire back, and high-power rifle may require reload time.

          In armed robbery, the robber fires rifle rounds at police cars because they know that the rounds would penetrate.

        3. theotherside

          So you’re reasoning is that they should wait until fired upon to safely equip themselves?  Sorry in advance moderator, that is moronic Dave Hart.  99% of police officers have never been shot at, yet 100% of them wear ballistic vests.  Because buying a bullet proof vest after you are shot at would be stupid.  I would imagine the reason DPD has not lost an officer since 1959 is because they are well trained, well equipped, and are well prepared.  It must be nice Dave Hart to work in a profession as you do where someone does not want to kill you based solely on your vocation.  Sleep comfortably tonight beneath the blanket of protection DPD offers you.

        4. theotherside

          That doesn’t make it any less flawed.  So if the Royal Oaks warrant service went horribly wrong, and someone armed them self with those assault rifles and fired upon officers, then what?  Go Bearcat shopping after?  Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

          1. Matt Williams

            otherside, help me understand something. Davis has shared an armored vehicle (“The Peacekeeper”) and jointly staffed a SWAT Team supported by that armored vehicle since at least 1990 (probably before that). In recent months West Sac has replaced the “beyond-end-of-life” Peacekeeper with a new armored vehicle. Given that, why does Davis need a replacement armored vehicle at all?

            With that asked, in the Royal Oaks warrant service the identified suspect(s) had clearly already armed themselves with their assault rifles. The challenge for the combined police forces was to activate their deployment in such a manner that minimized the chances that the suspect(s) would use/discharge their assault rifles and/or other munitions.

        5. theotherside

          I was responding to Dave Hart’s assertion that there was no need for a vehicle since a vehicle has never been fired upon.  And his assumption that protecting police officers should somehow be an after thought at the conclusion of a critical incident.  I’ve pointed out in previous comments that DPD has access to an MRAP and all this is moot.  They will just have to await its arrival from W Sac if there is ever a need that is not pre-planned.

          I honestly cannot follow your second point.

    2. Frankly

      This is the typical Davis elitism on display.

      We might need it, but we don’t like it in our city, so we will just count on others to keep it and allow us the benefit of use when we need it.

      Everyone else can carry our water because we are so damn special here in our little village.

      1. Matt Williams

        But Frankly, that is exactly the system that has worked very well for Davis and West Sacramento for the past 24 years. What compelling reasons do you see to change that joint SWAT Team system that is working very well?

        1. Matt Williams

          To me Bearcat vs. MRAP is a difference in name only.

          No matter how you cut it, they are both armored vehicles, and their usage by our community in concert with other regional communities would be identical.

    3. Alan Miller

      The argument is that we need it nearby in case something that has never happened here but has happened in other places and could happen here . . . . . . #out of breath# . . . . . . happens.

      Thus, one should be available to be dispatched to any part of town within minutes.   Thus, I suggest, one armored vehicle should be stored at every Davis fire station.

  11. Alan Miller

    There were also interior photos of the BearCat.  To help offset costs, I believe Davis could lease out the vehicle to Yolo County teenagers for prom and grad night.

  12. Alan Miller

    “One of the things that should disturb all of us is that one of the groups that you [Chief Landy Black] are concerned about are people that are tactically trained, who know how to use high powered weapons and the tactics to counter your tactics, and have PTSD”

    That is the premise to several episodes of “Criminal Minds” and “CSI – Name That City”.  However, is this a real and common mass murderer profile?  i.e., are there stats to back up this concern?

  13. Michelle Millet

    I want to trade my mini-van for a BearCat. (Elementary school drop off’s can get pretty rough). My van is pretty scary looking, the police can use that when they are serving warrants to meth. dealers with high-powered rifles.

      1. Michelle Millet

        An MRAP would definitely help with morning drop-off,  it seems like the sight of it would cause such mass hysteria cars would flee the scene, leaving open prime parking spots in front of the school.

  14. Frankly

    [moderator–edited]
    Will terrorism every come to Davis? 

    By the way… ya’ll might want to ask if Davis PD has a 50 caliber in its possession.  That is a gun that would take out a person inside a building by shooting through the walls after being targeted by highly sensitive IR.  We might not have one… yet.  But we should.

    1. Tia Will

      Frankly

      So if MRAP vehicles were dispatched to the scene, it is clear that their existence did not serve as a deterrent and did not protect the life of this individual. Unless you are arguing for an MRAP patrolling the streets to intimidate potential lawbreakers, I would see this as an argument against it. Perhaps better intelligence and intervention might have been a better strategy.

    2. South of Davis

      Don wrote:

      > We really don’t know, do we? and we never will, because he

      > was killed by an armed security guard inside the Canadian

      > parliament building.

      Correct we will never know for “sure” even if we find e-mails from ISIS telling him to kill people and 20 people come forward and say he told them he wanted to become an ISIS terrorist and kill people it “could” just be “work place violence” and it is important that we assume this so racist Canadians (and Americans) do not hear even a hint that a single Muslim is a terrorist so we can avoid any kind of backlash…

  15. sisterhood

    Dear Brett,

    If you really have found a spare couple of hundred thousand dollars in the city’s budget, please consider doing the right thing and reimburse the DACHA members who lost their down payments (“carrying charges”) when the City took over the DACHA loans.

    Thanks.

  16. sisterhood

    P.S. There may be a post or two re: my last post re: DACHA. DACHA was a debacle. And some may write that legally, the City has no obligation to reimburse any DACHA resident for their carrying charges. But sometimes there is a difference between the letter of the law, and the spirit of the law. The city took over the loans of  property about to be foreclosed on. That could have ramifications that could have put the Foreclosure Act into play. City lawyers will argue that Davis had no legal obligation. I argue maybe they did, maybe they didn’t.

    It would still be the right thing to do to give DACHA folks their money.

    I thought the city was really strapped for funds, and was grateful for living in Davis, so I did not aggressively pursue this subject. But if the council now has hundreds of thousands of dollars to throw around, I may reconsider. Wonder if any other former DACHA members feel likewise. (Not the ones who fell seriously into arrears, if that happened to anyone. (I don’t know.) The ones who made their monthly home payments in full, on time.)

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