Council leader wants to give up police armored truck

By The Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE — An Indiana police department would give up its ex-military armored truck if the city council president had his way.

West Lafayette City Council President Peter Bunder gave his opinion about the vehicle after the police chief gave council members a presentation about the department’s use-of-force policies this past week, the Journal & Courier reported.

Nationwide protests over racial injustice since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis had Bunder reconsider the city’s ownership of the vehicle.

Bunder said doesn’t support the call from some of his constituents for defunding the police department but suggested giving up what he called a “tank” would demilitarize the department.

Mayor John Dennis and Police Chief Troy Harris both oppose returning the armored vehicle the city received as U.S. military surplus in 2014. Harris said the city spent $3,000 to modify and paint the truck black so it didn’t look like a military vehicle.

Harris said the city could never afford to buy a bullet-proof vehicle made for civilian police departments and that he hasn’t previously heard complaints about the truck.

“It would be nice for them to acknowledge that this is simply an affordable resource to keep our community and officers safe, and not use this political rhetoric to jeopardize either,” Harris said.

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