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Dyana Bagby Posted by on January 9, 2017.

Dunwoody council approves $42,000 toward purchase of North Metro SWAT command vehicle

The Dunwoody City Council voted Jan. 9 to spend $41,916 toward the purchase of a command vehicle to be shared by the North Metro SWAT Team.

Total cost of the Freightliner command vehicle from Summit Bodyworks is $247,659 and is being divided among the North Metro SWAT cities of Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek and Brookhaven based on the cities’ populations, explained Dunwoody Chief Billy Grogan to City Council members.

According to the MOU, Sandy Springs will pay $88,228; John’s Creek will pay $73,616; and Brookhaven will pay $43,897 if their City Councils agree to purchase the vehicle.

Money used to cover Dunwoody’s share of the cost will come from money seized from drug dealers, Grogan said.

As part of the purchase, Dunwoody Police is entering into a memorandum of understanding between the John’s Creek Police Department, the Brookhaven Police Department and the Sandy Springs Police Department for the purchase.

The MOU states the Sandy Springs Police Department will purchase, own and maintain the vehicle, Grogan said. He said the vehicle is not a military vehicle, but was designed by a company that specializes in outfitting specialty vehicles.

The MOU also states the city of Sandy Springs will create a process for each city to use the command vehicle on a first-come, first-served basis. If two agencies need the vehicle at the same time, the Sandy Springs Police chief will make the decision which agency gets to use it.

The command vehicle allows supervisors and decision makers to work together inside a fully equipped vehicle during crisis situations, Grogan said.

The 28-foot long command vehicle designed by Colorado-based Summit Bodyworks will come fitted with computer systems, gun lockers, video cameras and a radio tower, among other items.

“We’ve needed a command vehicle for quite a long time,” Grogan said. “This is a piece of equipment urgently needed. Right now our command and control is being done on the hood of a vehicle.”

Dunwoody currently has an armored vehicle.

The Dunwoody Police Department partnered with the Sandy Springs Police Department and the John’s Creek Police Department in 2009 to form the North Metro SWAT team. The Brookhaven Police Department joined in 2013.

2 Responses to Dunwoody council approves $42,000 toward purchase of North Metro SWAT command vehicle

  1. John

    January 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    This is an obscene waste of funds. Why do these areas that are predominantly middle class and upper-middle class need a command vehicle? Yes, there crime exist in these areas. However, these areas are not teeming with the type of violence that would warrant the use of this vehicle.

    In addition, I’m sure that the North Metro SWAT team will have to be deployed more often, in situations that do not warrant its use, to justify this egregious expense. This will only put more civilian lives at risk.

    Police officers know the risks when they sign up for the job. The SWAT team is most certainly aware. Civilians should not be put at risk by the needless use of quasi-military force.

    This is a prime example of speciously justified militarization of the American police.

    • Doug

      January 15, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      It’s not an armored vehicle, it’s basically like an RV, with storage, meeting space, communications gear and office equipment for incidents that require a prolonged effort or time on scene. I think your statement is a bit misguided and based on a misunderstanding. I’m sure you can google the manufacture to gain information on this type of vehicle.