Dear Davis City Councilmembers,
I am writing to express my views on Item 09 of September 24th's agenda, concerning the obtainment of an Armored Rescue Vehicle.
After the huge outcry and discussion over the MRAP, I am extremely surprised to see that this is being proposed as a recommended purchase by staff. I would have thought that staff would recognize Davisites' great interest in such issues, and would have scheduled time for discussion and getting citizen input before making a recommendation. I urge you not to make a decision at the Sept 24 meeting but to instead use it to get input and discuss, allowing for further input after the meeting.
In the absence of that discussion, my own view is that the ARV is a MRAP-lite.
The article in the Davis Enterprise on this issue had to go back to 2015 to cite a situation where we needed such a vehicle, and even then, it turned out that we didn't (the shooter was already dead).
Also from the DE article: "Pytel also notes that in recent years, on numerous occasions, the "department has successfully handled protests, demonstrations and other such similar events without using the armored vehicles. Some of these events were both riotous and volatile, yet never did the department contemplate the need to deploy an armored vehicle.""
So, if we've done OK without this vehicle, why do we need it? Seems like it will either end up sitting around most of the time, or worse, end up being deployed in situations where it isn't needed. We don't need an escalation of police treating citizens like they are a threat.
I urge you to delay making a decision, or, if not, to vote against the ARV.