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Portsmouth City Council tables armored vehicle ordinance

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 9:26 PM EDT
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PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) - The Portsmouth Police Department will not be getting an armored vehicle they wanted -- at least not for now.

Chief Debby Brewer has been wanting to equip her department with an armored bullet-resistant MedCAT vehicle.

“This is something that I feel is needed with the state of the nation today,” Brewer said.

The chief says it could also be used by the fire department for flooding rescues or EMS during a mass-casualty situation.

“It’s an insurance policy,” she said. “I want to be able to protect the citizens, as well as the officers, from anything that may happen.”

At a cost of more than $250,000, City Council member Edwin Martell argues purchasing one wouldn’t be fiscally responsible.

Monday night after the second reading of the ordinance to approve the purchase of the armored vehicle, the council voted to table the measure.

“I’m disappointed,” Brewer told WSAZ after the vote. “I thought we came up with a very viable solution to purchasing this.”

Martell suggested they still could end up acquiring the vehicle at a later date in a manner that wouldn’t be as costly.

“We might be able to come up with another solution for this,” Martell said.

Brewer disagrees about the purchase being fiscally irresponsible.

She says her department could forgo one police cruiser purchase each year for four years to get the MedCAT paid off.

She says there are no grants available for that type of vehicle.

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