The Woodland Police Department’s military vehicle is sporting a new name and a new paint job but the same criticisms against what some call the militarization of police still linger.
In black and white and Woodland Police Department badge to boot, this former military vehicle looks like a Woodland police car on steroids.
“We wanted it to look like a police vehicle so when we painted it, we painted it black and white just like one of our patrol cars,” Lieutenant Anthony Cucchi, with the Woodland Police Department told FOX40.
The Mine Resistant Armored Protected Vehicle was given to the department from the Federal Government in late 2014, only after Davis PD returned it in response to community concerns.
“Where if we were to purchase one on our own through a civilian vendor it would have cost, the price tag is about $450,000,” Cucchi said.
In the short time Woodland has had it, the vehicle underwent a $20,000 makeover and was renamed as an armored rescue vehicle.
“That is the mission of the vehicle. It is to protect our officers as we respond to high risk incidents,” Cucchi said.
But some worry this is just another example of the militarization of police. A fear sparked by Ferguson protests after their city’s police force rolled out extra military vehicles.
“We're aware of those concerns and we definitely take them to heart,” he said.
Some vocal opponents say a vehicle with this kind of force doesn’t belong in cities like Woodland but the police department claims it was a matter of fiscal responsibility.
They added the vehicle is a defensive tool used in cases where their officers are facing dangerous situations.
“We do call upon to use this any time we call our SWAT team out and that could be hostage situation or anywhere there's been a shooting," Cucchi said.
So far, officers have rolled the ARV only a handful of times.
The Woodland Police Department told FOX40, their previous armored vehicle was built in the 80s and was out of commission.