Hoover Police to purchase armored vehicle (updated)

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hoover Police Department will purchase a Lenco BearCat armored vehicle similar to this one at a price of $270,000.

Hoover Police Department will purchase a Lenco BearCat armored vehicle similar to this one at a price of $270,000.


Staff Writer 

HOOVER – Hoover’s City Council amended the city’s budget to allow the police department to purchase an armored rescue vehicle for $270,000.

The amendment was approved at the Aug. 15 regular council meeting after council members had questions for Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis about the purpose of the vehicle.

Derzis told the council that the department plans to pay for the vehicle with money confiscated from drug dealers.

Such vehicles are useful in a number of situations, Derzis said, including as a barrier between a gunman and officers or residents.

Derzis said it would take about six months for the vehicle to arrive.

HPD Capt. Chuck McDonald said the department would purchase a Lenco BearCat from the manufacturer based in Massachusetts.

Police officials sought advice from several other agencies that own such vehicles, McDonald said, including Birmingham Police Department and Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s not hard to see that active shooter (situations) have changed over the years in the United States,” McDonald said. “Shooters now can be hyper mobile, and we may have a need to secure an area quickly. We want the ability to go into an unsecured zone and rescue a citizen or an officer.”

While expensive, McDonald said HPD officials think the potential benefit is worth the price.

“Just to have the capability and the fact that we can go in and possibly save a citizen—we feel like we can’t put a value on that,” he said.

In other business, the council:

•Rescheduled the meeting scheduled for Sept. 5 to Sept. 6 because of the Labor Day holiday.

•Adopted an ordinance to rezone Lot 2, Greystone 3rd Sector, located at the corner of Cahaba Valley Road and the south side of Greystone Way, from NZ (no zone) to C2 (community business district). The property is owned by EBSCO.

•Authorized the mayor to execute a court referral officer contract with Alabama Administrative Director of Courts Judicial Branch.

•Declared equipment and vehicles as surplus to be sold at public auction.

•Authorized the mayor to execute a memorandum of understanding with the city of Helena regarding shared use of a water tower located at 4664 South Shades Crest Road owned by Helena.

•Tabled a resolution to authorize the mayor to execute a lease agreement between the city and Bite Family Partnership Ltd. regarding the lease of a building located at 3515 Lorna Ridge Drive.

•Approved minutes from the Aug. 1 regular meeting and the Aug. 11 work session.