On Tuesday, the Brentwood City Council unanimously approved the purchase of a MedEvac G2 rescue vehicle for the Brentwood Police Department.
The police department requested the approval to the purchase of MedEvac G2 from Lenco Industries in an effort to preserve life and enhance the safety of citizens and other. The cost is $367,907. The item comes before the council due to the council approving its military use policy back in April under Assembly Bill 481 (AB 481).
According to police, over the last two years, the Brentwood Police Department has needed an ARV on at least four
different occasions. In all but one of these situations, the Department had to rely on mutual aid to ensure the safety of our citizens and officers. In the fourth incident, mutual aid was not able to respond. These incidents included high-risk arrest warrants of potentially armed individuals, a possible armed subject wanted for felony crimes threatening to kill himself, and two citizens experiencing a mental health crisis and armed with weapons.
Chief Tom Hansen explained that people will ask why does Brentwood need an armored rescue vehicle
“I am sorry that I am hear asking you for that, I wish I never had to but I think we all know that incidents have been escalating in our communities throughout the United States,” said Hansen. “They are not just a little bit, they are escalating 50-to-60 percent a year. We are seeing more incidents of active shooters, hostage situations and people putting themselves in positions where they are harming innocent folks.”
Hansen noted several incidents including Buffalo (NY), Uvalde (TX), Highland Park (IL) and Gilroy (CA).
“I wouldn’t be here as the police chief if I didn’t love our community and didn’t worry about this,” said Hansen who noted they have a well-trained tactical team who put themselves in harms way to protect the community.
He continued saying the council has supported the police department with equipment and a training budget. He said he never has to beg and the council approves a good budget because safety matters to the council.
“When it comes down to it, if something like Uvalde happened, god forbid in our city, that is the day our community wants us to cast that insurance policy and we are ready to do that,” explained Hansen. “You won’t see my police officers in a hallway at a school when they are being murdered. I am sorry. That is not going to happen. That is why we are prepared and we train.”
Hansen challenged those who have stated online that the city should put that money towards “fixing the problem”.
“I am sorry but if I could fix this problem, I wouldn’t be a police chief, I would be writing books. I am in the business of preparing my officers to respond to incidents that need to be taken care of right now,” said Hansen. “When someone is shooting at a movie theater, at a mall, or at a school, seconds are of the essence. It is imperative that we continue to train and equip our officers so they can respond to any situation. There should not be any situation where we are not trained or equipped for. If that ever comes to fruition, that is my fault as a police chief.”
Hansen provided an overview of the “hot zone”, “warm zone” and “cold zone” during an incident and that the goal was to get victims from the hot zone to the cold zone as soon as possible and said this rescue vehicle would help with that.
“The bottom line is this is a critical piece of equipment to help protect and save our community from those who wish to do us harm,” said Hansen who noted every single one of the Brentwood Police Department officers can be trained to drive this vehicle because its build on an F-550 Chassis and only requires a Class C license to operate—which leads to quick response times out of the station when needed.
Hansen said this particular vehicle is being used by more than 135 police agencies in California and over a 1,000 agencies throughout the country—calling it a “standard” and the company has mastered this vehicle.
“I am sorry I am here, I wish it was different and we were not in this situation but I am here tonight asking for this,” said Hansen.
During council discussion, Councilmember Karen Rarey called it a no brainer for the council.
“I pray we never need to use this, but like you said, we each hear of more and more shootings across our country and I can’t see us not purchasing this MedEvac unit,” said Rarey. “it’s a no brainer for our community.”
Councilmember Jovita Mendoza said the council had to keep both the community and the staff safe.
Councilmember Suzannah Meyer highlighted how some may think this will not touch the community but last month she had a police pursuit go through her backyard after a suspect also carried a gun.
“It does happen in our sweet little down, luckily there was no injuries or fatalities that night and the suspect was taken into custody safely, but it does happen. So I truly agree with keeping our residents safe but also our officers have all the tools they need to do their job and keep themselves safe,” said Meyer. “I am in support of this.”
Vice Mayor Johnny Rodriquez said this was a piece of equipment the community needs to make sure they kept the staff and officers safe as well as community and urged the council to support it.
Mayor Joel Bryant agreed.
“This is something that the price of having it does not equate to the cost of not having it,” said Bryant. “I am in full support of it.”
The council then voted 5-0 in support of purchasing the MedEvac G2 from Lenco.
Per the Staff Report
Active shooter events are increasing nationwide, and the City of Brentwood is not immune to the potential of this type of incident occurring within our jurisdiction. The City of Brentwood and the Brentwood Police Department take the potential of such an event extremely seriously. The Brentwood Police Department conducts active shooter training annually. In addition, the Department’s SWAT Team trains monthly on the response to critical incidents. The Brentwood Police Department has trained all City staff in the active shooter response and preparedness with the use of ALICE Training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate). The Brentwood Police Department has also partnered with Brentwood Union School District and the Liberty Union School District to train their staff in the ALICE Training.
Although Brentwood Police Department trains for active shooters and critical incidents, the Department feels that the addition of an Armored Rescue Vehicle (ARV) would better prepare officers to respond to these types of incidents. The Lenco Industries, Inc., MedEvac G2 is the ARV that will provide the protection to our citizens and officers. Lenco Industries, Inc. (d/b/a Lenco Armored Vehicles) is the only designer and US manufacturer and distributor of the Lenco MedCat/MedEvac G2, making it a sole source provider. A search was conducted, and no other companies were found that provided the capabilities that the Lenco MedEvac G2 offers.
On the tactical side, this vehicle is ballistic rated at the highest level (NIJ IV), which is capable of withstanding multiple .50 caliber rounds to the body and glass. Additionally, Lenco is the only manufacturer that offers level IIIA Kevlar-based ballistic skip round shields that are capable of being hung from the vehicle running boards to the ground, end to end. The skip round shields provide ballistic protection to police officers and injured citizens from gunfire and skip rounds
directed at and under the vehicle. Also, the MedEvac is the only armored vehicle that offers a two-piece hydraulic adjustable ram with a gas injector system that incorporates a triple valve over pressure relief system in order to increase operator safety. This hydraulic ram is capable of breaching barricaded structures and deploying less lethal chemical agents into a structure while being safely controlled by a police officer from inside the protection of the vehicle.
On the medical side, the vehicle contains two full-size medical stretchers mounted to the inside walls that can be quickly disconnected and deployed in the field to rescue and evacuate injured individuals. There are built-in medical supply cabinets with a workstation and onboard oxygen supply tanks. No other company offers this combination of tactical prowess with medical life-saving capabilities.
This ARV is a four-wheeled vehicle used to enhance and sustain the safety of individuals and emergency responders when answering the call to active shooter incidents or hazardous situations. When an active shooting event occurs, the area where the incident is occurring is divided into three categories:
- Hot Zone: active shooter not contained and in the area, a direct threat for injury exists, imminent threat/danger, and law enforcement only.
- Warm Zone: active shooter not believed to be in the area, indirect threats remain, life-saving interventions only, rapid initial triage, and rapid evacuation of survivors.
- Cold Zone: minimal to no threats, ambulance staging, fire staging, incoming law enforcement units staging, and command post.
Over the last two years, the Brentwood Police Department has needed an ARV on at least four different occasions. In all but one of these situations, the Department had to rely on mutual aid to ensure the safety of our citizens and officers. In the fourth incident, mutual aid was not able to respond. These incidents included high-risk arrest warrants of potentially armed individuals, a possible armed subject wanted for felony crimes threatening to kill himself, and two citizens experiencing a mental health crisis and armed with weapons.
Having an ARV ready to deploy from Brentwood’s police facility will ensure an increase in officers’ capabilities during a critical incident. An ARV owned by the City will decrease Brentwood’s reliance on mutual aid in these types of situations and minimize response times. Time is extremely important when responding to critical incidents, and having the ability to get officers and medically trained personnel to wounded citizens and officers as quickly as possible will save lives. This ARV allows trained personnel to enter unsecured, unstable areas (warm/hot zones), to deliver immediate assistance to individuals in need, and/or protect life and property. The Lenco Industries, Inc., MedEvac G2 is designed to provide officers with critical equipment needed to enhance our ability to better serve and protect the community.
The ARV can be deployed for a variety of critical incidents such as violent felonies; incidents where the suspect has used, intends to use or is likely to use extreme violence against citizens or Brentwood Police Officers; and de-escalation of armed suspects having mental health episodes. Additionally, the ARV will be utilized to perform rescue operations for injured citizens and officers. The ARV is equipped with life-saving equipment and can safely deliver specially trained personnel and equipment to the scene. The equipment and specially trained personnel will ensure that the victims receive life-saving efforts faster, providing a higher probability of survival. The ARV can also be used for evacuating those who are physically unable to safely escape an active situation.
Aside from critical incidents involving life-saving measures, the ARV will be used for natural disasters, emergency rescue operations, community events, and public relations such as parades, educational events, and law enforcement demonstrations.
The ARV is designed for tactical emergency operations. Adequate staff will be trained in the operations of the ARV so it can be deployed quickly to the scene of a hazardous situation or emergency rescue. The MedEvac G2 is equipped with two tactical stretchers (litters), onboard oxygen tanks, light work stations, and compartments for medical supplies. The MedEvac G2 was purpose-built for rescuing, treating, and evacuating injured people. The MedEvac G2 is capable of evacuating four individuals, whether injured or not. The injured will receive life-saving measures while they are being transported from the hot or warm zone to waiting Emergency Medical Staff (EMS), which will increase their survival rate. Without an ARV, injured individuals could be stranded at their location until the suspect is neutralized and the scene is rendered safe, thus reducing their chances for survival.
The Lenco Industries, Inc., MedEvac G2 is built using the Ford F550 chassis and only requires a class C driver’s license to operate. Any personnel trained in the operations of the ARV can drive this vehicle without a need for additional licenses or endorsements by the DMV. In the event the ARV needs service or repairs, a local vendor will be able to provide those services.
The total one-time cost for the purchase of the ARV is $367,907.05, including sales tax and shipping. The cost is proposed to be funded from two sources: $193,908 from the Police Grant Fund and $174,000 from the Asset Seizure Fund.
The Police Grants Fund has the requisite funds available from accumulated COPS/Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Funds (SLESF) allocations. These allocations are restricted for supplementing front-line law enforcement services and equipment. After this expenditure, there will be approximately $235,500 remaining in accumulated funds, along with projected FY 2022/23 revenue of $150,000. A budget amendment of $193,908 to the Police Grants Fund is proposed to allow for this expenditure.
The second source of funding for the one-time acquisition costs would be $174,000 of available balance in the Asset Seizure Fund. The Asset Seizure Fund accounts for amounts forfeited in certain criminal cases and funds are available to be used for allowable law enforcement expenditures. This proposed expenditure would utilize all of the available balance in the Asset Seizure Fund. There are no ongoing Police Services funded by the Asset Seizure Fund and a budget amendment of $174,000 is proposed to allow for this expenditure.
In addition to the one-time cost of the purchase, the annual ongoing cost to maintain the ARV is estimated to be $1,500 and an annual replacement cost of $35,000 is expected to be incurred. These ongoing costs will be funded by the General Fund and the costs will be incorporated into future Operating Budgets
About Lenco Armored Vehicles
Since its founding in 1981, Lenco Armored Vehicles has been the most trusted manufacturer of tactical armored security vehicles by law enforcement, fire and rescue and government entities worldwide. The privately held, family-owned and -operated company revolutionized tactical response with the advent of the BEAR® and BearCat®, and since, has designed and fabricated more than 6,000 armored vehicles in service by more than 800 state and federal agencies in all 50 states. Lenco prides itself on protecting defenders around the world and serving as the standard in the industry. For more information about Lenco Armored Vehicles, visit lencoarmor.com