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.
“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.