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Indybay Feature
Thu Feb 5 2015 (Updated 02/09/15)
Activists Say Santa Cruz Police Lied to Secure $250,000 Armored Vehicle Purchase
Santa Cruz County Agencies Already Possess a Minimum of Three Armored Vehicles
On January 27, about 100 citizens attended the Santa Cruz City Council meeting to demand the Council rescind its rushed approval of the Police Department's purchase of a fully armored vehicle, a BearCat. Activists claim Santa Cruz Police relied on questionable information about their need for an armored vehicle when they pushed the Council to approve this purchase, claiming it would take 3-4 hours for the nearest armored vehicle to arrive here from Santa Clara if needed. In fact, both the Sheriff's Department and the Scotts Valley Police Department have armored vehicles that can be quickly deployed.

The Santa Cruz City Council approved the BearCat Purchase on December 9. Journalist John Malkin, who has been working with SCRAM! and others to uncover more information about the SCPD's BearCat purchase through Public Records Act Requests, said that information detailing other agencies' armored vehicle inventories would have been, "very useful to have shared with the city council at the point when they were asked to vote for purchasing a new 250 thousand dollar vehicle."

"Our idea is that it would have given them a better perception of what kind of equipment is available locally, what kind of sharing is possible, and that the vehicle for another reason is not needed for our city," Malkin said.

Community members continue to protest the BearCat purchase. On Tuesday, February 10, activists plan to speak out at the city council meeting and hold a rally at City Hall at 4:30pm. On Wednesday, February 11, a forum on the militarization of the Santa Cruz Police Department will be held at the Louden Nelson Center at 6pm.

imc_photo.gif video Read More with Photos and Video | See Also: Dear City Council, Santa Cruz Does NOT Want a BEARCAT | Wider World is Watching the BEARCAT in Santa Cruz

Previous Coverage: Santa Cruz Residents Continue to Call for Police to "Give Back the BearCat" || Protesters Shut Down City Council Meeting after Purchase of Armored Vehicle Approved
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