For a year the 100 Club of the Texas Panhandle has been working to raise funds to buy the APD SWAT team a new armored vehicle.
Since then they have raised about $150,000.
“The sticker price on a new one is about 365, so $365 thousand dollars and we have taken on that project, however it has gone a lot slower than we expected it to,” said Suzanne Talley the president of the board from the 100 Club of the Texas Panhandle.
The current SWAT vehicle has had electrical problems, engine problems, and is even difficult to find a shop to work on it according to Corporal Toby Hudson.
“We are unable to get parts to work on it so it takes a SWAT officer being a mechanic for the day and working on the vehicle himself,” said Cpl. Hudson.
Talley tells us it is vital for them to get a new vehicle because they aren’t just serving Amarillo, they are going to places like Hereford, Dumas, and Borger.
“We’ve had the vehicle, as I understand towed to the scene to keep them safe and protected, we’ve had it towed from the scene because it broke down, I’ve seen it on the side of the– road many times and that is just not acceptable,” added Talley.
Hudson says getting a new vehicle is essential for not only the safety of the officers but for the people they are responding to.
“These vehicles are used not only to keep officers from gunfire but also a rescue vehicle, we’ve used it to rescue an officer that was pinned down by a patrol car in a different city, and we are going to use it to rescue hostages if that would be the case,” said Hudson.
Corporal Hudson says they do rely on the Randall County Sheriff’s Office a lot right now when it comes to using their armored vehicle.
Amarillo voters turned down an option during a 2016 bond election that would have helped to buy a new SWAT vehicle for the sake of low property taxes.
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