ROGERS -- The City Council approved two measures Tuesday in order for the Police Department to buy an armored vehicle.
The council approved waiving competitive bidding to buy a $176,222 armored vehicle from Lenco Armored Vehicles in Pittsfield, Mass.
Police Chief Hayes Minor told the three members of the Finance Committee the vehicle will primarily be used for situations involving the department's SWAT team. He said the reconditioned 2008 vehicle can transport 10 team members.
Minor said he hopes they'll never need to use the vehicle, but he believes it can save lives.
He told the committee the department was donated a retired bank truck 15 years ago that was used as an armored vehicle. The department then obtained a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle through a military program.
Minor said the MRAP was one of the large ones, and they didn't think it was conducive to law enforcement, and the department got rid of it.
"We don't want anyone to think of the militarization issue," Minor said. "It's a rescue issue in my opinion."
The new armored vehicle will be smaller than the MRAP, Minor said. He said the new heavy duty truck is specifically built for law enforcement.
He said the new vehicle has a turret on top of it, but it's being removed to avoid comparison to the military.
The second issue related to the armored vehicle concerned amending the city's 2021 budget to spend $176,225 from the Police Department's criminal investigation division drug fund to buy the armored vehicles.
The three members of the Finance Committee approved, and forwarded to the City Council, which approved the proposals.
The council also approved a contract with Johnson Controls in Little Rock to do an energy audit on city facilities.
The Arkansas Energy Office's Division of Environmental Quality is coordinating with the company to provide energy assessments.
There's no cost to the city for the audit if a contract is agreed to after the audit. If a contract isn't approved, then the city will have to pay for the audit at a rate per square footage set by the state.
The City Council on Tuesday approved:
• Waiving competitive bidding to buy patrol vehicle for the police for $60,251 from Superior Chevrolet of Siloam Springs.
• The destruction of certain records by the city's Finance and Human Resources Department.
• Waiving competitive bidding to buy a 2021 Ram 3500 truck and a 2021 Ram truck for the Street Department.