Council Approves CCPD Purchase of Armored Vehicles

The City Council meeting on July 11, 2022 saw the approval of a police department purchase that had been refused on two previous occasions; the purchase of armored vehicles. Action Item 2 on the agenda brought out community members both in favor and against. The upcoming community meeting on AB 481 loomed like a shadow over the process, as the State of California passed the law in January of 2022 that specifically restricts ” any law enforcement agency …from acquiring military equipment.” 

When the request was first made by the CCPD to the City Council in 2019, the department was under the leadership of Chief Scott Bixby, who never flagged in his enthusiasm for an armored vehicle; the option then was the Lenco BEARCAT. The  request from the CCPD in 2022 shifted to two Armored Ford Transit Tactical Vans, from the International Armored Group. The $427,000 purchase order will come from the CCPD’s ‘forfeiture’ fund and not the City’s General Fund, but still required a council vote.  

“An armored tactical van falls under the purview of a ‘policy not yet adopted by the council.’ The goal of the military …is very different than that of community policing.” Community activist Michelle Weiner spoke from the podium, reminding the council of the AB 481 restrictions.

But CCUSD Superintendent of Schools Quoc Tran stated, “If [there were a ] mass shooting, the worst is done in the first two minutes. This [vehicle] would allow officers to come during the darkest moment, in two minutes or less.” 

The balance between those speaking against over-policing and those citing the constant threat of mass shootings took in  many voices from local residents. 

When the moment came for discussion on the dais, Council member Yasmine Imani McMorrin cited her perspective on the benefits of prevention programs,  and offered that she had voted against approving the city budget for just this reason. “When I close my eyes and imagine a safe, healthy community…it’s not about having police on every corner. It’s about investing in systems of care and [harm] prevention…Not militarization.” 

Chief Manny Cid attempted to address her concerns, but maintained that being equipped for a worst-case scenario was vital. “This is a piece of equipment that any law enforcement agency should have. ..  I think that in this community, we pride ourselves on being self-reliant.” 

The vote was passed with three ayes; Vice Mayor Albert Vera, Council member Goran Eriksson, and Council member Alex Fisch all voted aye, McMorrin voted no, and Mayor Dr. Daniel Lee abstained. 

Judith Martin-Straw

Editor’s Note – this is an updated image from the CCPD, which responded to a request on August 1, 2022. 



The Actors' Gang


  1. Judith..the vehicle in your photo is nowhere near the actual vehicle authorized to purchased by CCPD.
    The actual vehicle to be used by our CCPD ERT unit is a Ford Transit Van and is the size/model (like) the Amazon delivery vans..

  2. Judith,
    Wrong photo. Was this intentional or a mistake? Either way, please replace with the correct photo.

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