New armored vehicle $280K allocation approved

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The Sherman Police Department received approval to purchase a new armored vehicle for the department. Police officials said the vehicle will help ensure safety for officers and civilians during dangerous calls.

The Sherman Police Department will soon have a new tool for protecting officers in some of the most dangerous situations. Earlier this year, officials with the Sherman Police Department said the vehicle was necessary to keep officers safe when responding not only to dangerous calls in Sherman, but also throughout the region.

The City Council recently unanimously approved allocating nearly $280,000 for the purchase of a new armored vehicle for the police department.

"It meets the specifications that we want as far as ballistic protection and tactically it will fit the number of people we have on the team," SPD Asst. Chief Bruce Dawsey said earlier this month.

The department will be purchasing what is described as a Ballistic Armored Tactical Transport from The Armored Group. Previously, department officials said the department wanted something with more protection than a standard department vehicle for calls and incidents of increased danger.

"It is not something you will see around town. It is not something we will use for parades and the like,: Dawsey said. "This will be used when our special response team is activated."

As an example, SPD Police Chief Zachary Flores previously spoke of a call earlier this year involved an individual was was wanted in relation to an attempted murder out of Oklahoma.

Police attempted to use explosives to breech into a building where the suspect was hiding out, but the entryway was not fully cleared. 

"The way that the charge works is that it sort of lays the door down — pops it off the hinges essentially," Flores said. "Instead, it folded and sandwiched due to the poor construction of the door."

This required officers to approach the building an manually clear the doorway, potentially putting themselves in danger.

More recently, there was an incident in Honey Grove that involved a police officer being shot by a suspect. First responders were unable to get close to the officer to extract him from the scene as the suspect was armed with weapons that could penetrate standard police vehicles.

The department previously said it expected to purchase the vehicle with minimal use of tax funds. Instead, the department would use drug seizure funds to pay the majority of the cost. The department said that $183,000 will be paid using these funds, with the remainder allocated under the current fiscal year budget.