Photo from Lenco
Lenco Bearcat armored rescue vehicle
The Hoover Police Department plans to purchase an armored rescue vehicle similar to this Lenco Bearcat for use in hostile situations where people are in danger.
The Hoover City Council tonight amended its budget so the Police Department can buy an armored rescue vehicle estimated to cost about $265,000.
Hoover police Chief Nick Derzis said the department needs such a vehicle to use in hostile situations where a police officer or civilian needs rescuing. For example, if someone is injured in an area where there is a gunman, the vehicle can be positioned between the gunman and the injured person while the rescue occurs, Derzis said.
“God forbid we ever need it,” but it will be good to have if such situations occur, he said.
The vehicle police want to purchase is a Lenco BearCat four-wheel-drive vehicle that can carry 10-12 people, said Jehad Al-Dakka, the department’s executive officer. “It protects you from high-powered rifles,” he said.
The vehicles have been useful in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and Baton Rouge officials have advised Hoover officials as they shopped around to find the best fit for what Hoover needs, Derzis said. The Birmingham and Tuscaloosa police departments also have armored rescue vehicles, Derzis said.
It likely will take about five to six months to get one made and delivered, he said. Lenco has had a lot of orders with the uptick in violence toward police officers, he said.
Hoover police plan to pay for the vehicle with money confiscated from drug dealers, Derzis said.
In other business tonight, the council:
- Tabled a vote to pay $523,000 over the next 11 years to lease a vacant warehouse and office at 3515 Lorna Ridge Drive for use as a police training facility. Arnold Singer, a candidate for Hoover City Council Place 3, recommended the council consider using space at the Hoover Public Safety Center off Valleydale Road or build a training facility on that property instead.
- Zoned 18 acres at the intersection of Alabama 119 and Greystone Way as a community business district. The property is owned by EBSCO and is part of a larger 75-acre tract called Tattersall Park, which EBSCO hopes to develop for retail stores, office buildings, restaurants, hotels and medical facilities.
- Authorized the mayor to enter an agreement with the city of Helena that will allow Hoover to put a radio antenna on top of a Helena water tower at 4664 South Shades Crest Road to aid in public safety communications in that area.
- Declared four vehicles and a lawn mower as surplus to be sold at auction.
- Approved a budget amendment to allocate $545,313 for costs related to the $80 million warrant issue for the new sports complex next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and to reallocate $30,000 from the Bluff Park sidewalk project to a pipe replacement and resurfacing project on Hugh Daniel Drive.
- Approved requests from: Formosa Chinese Restaurant to sell liquor at 2109 Lorna Ridge Lane; Taste of Thailand to sell liquor at 3321 Lorna Road, Suite 3; Vecchia Pizzeria and Mercato to sell liquor at 610 Preserve Parkway, Suite 100; Fred’s Store No. 1840 to sell beer and wine for consumption off the premises at 3317 Lorna Road.
- Set public hearings for Sept. 6 to consider requests to allow SkyZone Sports to put a trampoline park in the former Staples location at 1694 Montgomery Highway and the City of Vestavia Hills to build a road through Lot 7 of International Park to allow access to a park being developed by Vestavia Hills on the site of the former Altadena Valley Country Club.
- Rescheduled the Sept. 5 Hoover City Council meeting to Sept. 6 due to the Labor Day holiday.
This article was updated at 8:30 p.m. to correct the position being sought by Arnold Singer in the Aug. 23 Hoover municipal election. It's Place 3.