The ongoing national debate about the use of military-style SWAT vehicles by local police departments has an official in one Wisconsin community reconsidering the city’s ownership of an armored truck.
Appleton Police partnered with the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department to accept the donated armored truck through a national program. However, Alderwoman Polly Dalton worries the city council did not look closely enough at the costs for maintenance, insurance, and training officers to use the vehicle.
Dalton wants to see what it would cost the city to get rid of it. She says she’s not against the police department having one and the safety of officers, but she does not believe the vehicle matches the goals of a civilian law enforcement unit.
Local government ownership of armored vehicles has been under intense scrutiny, following a militarized police response last month to riots and public demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri. The incident brought new attention to the presence of armored vehicles in communities across the nation, including several in Wisconsin.
The city’s safety and licensing committee will talk about the issue on Thursday.