Home Antioch Antioch: Police Chief Explains Use of MRAP, Says Its Appropriate

Antioch: Police Chief Explains Use of MRAP, Says Its Appropriate

by ECT

During Thursday night’s Pizza With the Police, Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando explained why the City of Antioch has a military vehicle and how it’s been deployed over the last year.

“Our MRAP is our military vehicle that is getting a lot of comments on the blogs. People ask why we would spend a lot of money on this vehicle when we need a lot of police, it was free,” stated Cantando. “It cost us $3,000 to drive it down from Washington because it gets about 9-miles-per-gallon.”

He noted that if the City of Antioch were to buy this vehicle, it would have cost the city $650,000.

He also made reference to comments about the militarization of the police department and people asking why they need it.

“We are not driving over mines, we are not. But being on the SWAT team when someone is shooting a gun at you, it doesn’t matter if it’s a mine, a gun, an automatic gun or a sniper rifle, you do not want to get hit,” stated Cantando. “If you are in vehicle that will stop those things, that is a great deal of safety and I want to knock on wood that I have been here 28-years and we have not lost an officer and hope it never happens.”

He explained the MRAP is just one of many things they are doing to further protect officers and ensure safety of the community. He noted in the year they have had it, it’s been used on one operation to date.

Antioch MRAP“Any chance we can make our officers feel safer, we are going to do it,” said Cantando. “People are thinking what are we going to do with it. We have had it a year, I’ve never taken it to lunch, I’ve never taken it home, I wanted to drive it thought he drive thru and it wouldn’t fit. We have used it one time and we used it because we were on a weapons call. We used it one time and it was appropriate and that is the way we are going to use it.”

He further highlighted that he understands that people do not like the idea of police militarization and he understands that, but again states it was for officer safety.

“If you want to be a police officer and want to go on those types of calls. If you do not want that vehicle then that is a decision you can make when you get there,” said Cantando.

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Troy Nov 20, 2014 - 9:01 am

I don’t care what it takes to get these idiots under control around here!!! I say we need a bomber to drop a bomb on the Sycamore area!!!! Thanks for all you do Chief and Antioch police force!!!!

Mark Nov 20, 2014 - 10:24 am

So your 10 year old can play a mature game like Call of Duty but you don’t want the Police to have a vehicle to protect themselves from the bad guys?? Are people nuts?? Whatever the police needs to do an effective job fighting crime, I say the more the merrier. It is not a game out on those streets people. If you do the crime, you must be willing to do the time. Period. End of story.

Julio Nov 20, 2014 - 2:08 pm

I support whatever they feel they need. I would like Shot Spotter and the Chief says no way but we will get it eventually.

mike Nov 20, 2014 - 2:55 pm

@troy we should nuke all the incentive people and children that live in that same neighborhood along with the bad guys? That’s sounds like a level headed decision.

karl dietzel Nov 21, 2014 - 6:19 pm

the pentagon is working of shutting down that 1033 program. many police agencies are giving back those trucks. google san jose, albany, berkeley, and so on.
the 1033 loan application for that military truck never made it to a public council meeting. the militarization of police departments is out of this world.

Where did Antioch go wrong??????? Nov 22, 2014 - 11:33 am

This is the reason you did not get elected Karl. Its about safety and not militarization. Police departments have been taking advantage of these type of military surplus programs for at least 15-20 years and it has only become an issue due to these vehicles. Just look at the LA bank shoot out and you will see why these vehicles should continue to be used. As the chief stated, the MRAP has only been used in 1 operation. They have had the vehicle since the summer or late summer of 2013. If you start to see these types of vehicles being used on patrol daily then there is a problem. You should worry more about what Obama has up his sleeve then police officers obtaining and using vehicles for safety.

karl dietzel Nov 22, 2014 - 12:58 pm

i did not get elected because of obama? you must be drinking early in the morning.
did you read anything i wrote?
it’s about out of control spending, it’s about transparency, and again the pentagon is on the way to cancel that program, many ca police agencies are banned to receive things from the 1033 program. did you read up on san jose, albany, and berkeley? i bet you did not.

Julio Nov 22, 2014 - 6:28 pm

I am sure Mr. Dietzel has childhood memories of Militarization. That maybe why he takes the stand he does. I back the chief on this one.

karl dietzel Nov 22, 2014 - 11:32 pm

well, obama just has proofed that he can do whatever he wants, yes, that is very scary, but there is no outcry,
locally, people like you have voted the very same people into office, again, i may say. be happy, and don’t point any finger at me.

Where did Antioch go wrong????? Nov 23, 2014 - 10:23 am

[email protected]
No I do not drink in the mornings but when I read the stupid stuff you post it drives me crazy. I did not even come close to saying that you did not get elected because of Obama. I said it because you do not have the knowledge or ideas to be a leader. You say it is about control of spending. Do you not understand the program that they received the MRAP? The program gives these surplus items to local agencies for FREE. Yep, that’s right. FREE Karl. I think that is pretty good of agencies like cash strapped APD to get stuff like this for free. I know you say that it is not for free because we had to spend $3500 to get it to Antioch. The money that was spent on that I guarantee did not come from the general budget or the city. As for transparency. Do you think YOU should have a say on if the police department obtains a vehicle like that? If you say yes, then again your lack of knowledge shows. Maybe they should have brought the MRAP in and let everybody look at and then hold a special election and vote on it before the decision is made. They can print up fliers and even invite your neighbors on Sycamore to come see it. You as the citizen should not know all the workings of the police department. They make the police department as transparent as they can but you don’t get to know all.

Karl, did you know that APD got their first armored vehicle in 2000? Antioch already had a vehicle that did what the MRAP does. The word ARMORED is the key here. That is all that the MRAP is. It does not launch grenades or have an 50 cal. gun attached to the roof. I know you don’t care about anything but control of spending or transparency and you will dismiss what I have told you. This is another reason why you did not get elected. Open your eyes and think about the officers that patrol your house on Sycamore. Give them the respect they deserve and at least act like you care.

Lastly, I am not a supporter of the current Council. They have dropped the ball just like many of the Council members before them. I am not pointing fingers at you. I just wish you would support safety of our officers instead of blogging about things you do not have a clue about.

Where did Antioch go wrong????? Nov 23, 2014 - 10:49 am

Typed a long response and it did not post so here goes again.
[email protected]
No I do not drink in the mornings. It just drives me crazy when I read your posts. I never referenced you not getting elected because of Obama. I said you did not get elected because your posts demonstrate you lack knowledge, ideas and leadership qualities. You say your post was based on lack of controlled spending and transparency. Do you understand the government surplus program. It gives FREE stuff to local and state agencies. I think this was a smart move by APD to obtain this vehicle. I know you will say that it cost $3500. I guarantee this $3500 did not come from the city or general budget. There are accounts set up by APD that has money in them that does not come from the city. I know you will second guess me but they do. This is a not cost to the city.

As for transparency. Do you believe that YOU should have a say in a decision of this type? If you say yes then again it shows your lack of knowledge. Citizens should not have a say in things like this. Maybe they should have brought the MRAP down and invited you and your Sycamore neighbors to come down and look at it. Maybe even go inside and see what it has to offer. They could then have a special election to decide if APD should get something like this. You as a citizen should not have a decision in this. The police department is as transparent as they can be but there are things that you do not need to know for the safety of the officers.

APD obtained their first armored vehicle around 2000. Nobody cried about it then. The MRAP is nothing but an ARMORED vehicle. No grenade launcher, no RPG and no 50 cal. machine gun mounted to the top. Plain and simple ARMORED vehicle used to provide safety for the officers.

You should look at the side of safety for our officers instead of pounding a fist about something you really know nothing about. You should show some deserved respect for the officers that are patrolling your street to try and make you safe.

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