Tarrant County Approves Armored Vehicle

Armored tactical police vehicle | Image by betto rodrigues/Shutterstock

After some discussion and debate, the Tarrant County Commissioners Court voted on the purchase of a major piece of law enforcement equipment during its meeting on February 7. The court approved the purchase of a tactical armored vehicle for use by the local sheriff’s office.

Tarrant County invited 128 contractors to participate in the bid process, but only two companies — Terradyne Armored Vehicles Inc. and Lenco Industries Inc. — submitted bids.

Lenco Industries won the bid after Terradyne could not meet the specified wheelbase length required by the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office.

The court approved the taxpayer-funded purchase of a Lenco BearCat G3 for $345,245.32 in a 3-2 vote.

The vote on whether to purchase the vehicle fell along party lines, with Republicans having the majority.

Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks, who represents Precinct 1, voted against the purchase, along with Precinct 2 Commissioner Alisa Simmons.

“This is a fight that I lost in the budget process. I was opposed to it then; I’m opposed to it now. I don’t believe in the militarization of our public safety offices and departments, and I’m not going to vote for this,” said Brooks.

Members of the public also weighed in at the meeting, with one Tarrant County resident arguing that the money could be better spent supporting mental health services at the county jail and that officers have managed thus far without the tactical vehicle.

“People have managed to negotiate situations they thought were dangerous as law enforcement officers without these little tanks,” said Jeralynn Cox.

“They’re sort of fashionable in the law enforcement community now, you know. If you want the latest gizmo, instead of a big deal van transport for inmates you get a tank, but do you really need a tank?” Cox asked the court.

Newly elected Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare spoke to The Dallas Express and explained why he voted in favor of the measure.

“Every day, courageous men and women in law enforcement encounter dangerous situations, putting their lives on the line. This equipment purchase will provide mobile safety for law enforcement who respond to high-risk situations,” O’Hare told The Dallas Express.

“I will always support supplying our officers with the tools and resources they need to protect and serve, so that we can ensure their safe return home at night to their families and loved ones. One of the most important functions of government is to keep its citizens safe, and this purchase helps to provide the protection our officers need to accomplish that goal,” O’Hare said.

The court approved a $139,532 taxpayer-funded contract to provide ammunition for the sheriff’s department during the same Commissioners Court meeting.

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  1. Arnie Leckband

    Money WELL spent! !

  2. John MORIARTY

    An outstanding purchase to keep the public and law enforcement safe.


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