City Council Approves New Military Vehicle for Police

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COLUMBIA - A new armored personnel carrier (APC) can soon be replacing an old one at the Columbia Police Department. The Columbia City Council voted Monday night in favor of moving funds to the purchase of the vehicle that offers ballistic protection from gunfire.

"It's a 25 year investment that can save police officers lives," said Mayor Bob Mcdavid before the voting. Only one opposed the proposal.

Besides protecting police offers, the police department argued in a letter to the city council for the vehicles' psychological advantage. Arrested suspects have told SWAT officers they surrendered after seeing the vehicle because "things were getting serious," the letter says.

Concerns were raised by one city councilman that the vehicle could be used in narcotics related search warrants or for public riots. At the council meeting Police Chief Ken Burton said the vehicle would only be used to protect police officers in violent situations.

The APC will replace an older model that has been used for 30 years, but has seen 27 failure or technical issues over the past 12 years costing 35.000 dollars in repair fees.

Photo: Columbia Police Department

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