Monroe Police Department looking into purchasing second armored vehicle

Monroe PD looking into getting new armored vehicle
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:31 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Captain Tommy Jones of the West Monroe police department says being prepared for an active shooting situation starts with being proactive.

“Preventing an active shooter is strictly officer presence in every situation that we can think of,” Jones says.

It’s a sentiment shared by law enforcement officials around the ArkLaMiss, including Captain Ricky Bacle of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office. He says his agency uses simulation training to provide realistic practice for deputies.

“We do scenarios at different locations throughout the year just so that our deputies have an idea of what the inside of these facilities look like if they were to respond to an active shooter incident,” Bacle says.

Monroe Police also train for active shooter situations, and recently expressed interest in getting a larger armored vehicle to help with police response.

Monroe Chief of Police Vic Zordan says he feels confident in his team’s ability to handle an active shooter situation without the armored vehicle, but says it would be helpful for his department, as well as surrounding law enforcement agencies.

“We do several warrants at the exact same time, and we have to split the BearCat (armored vehicle) that we have now, Zordan explains. “This would allow us to hit multiple locations at the same time and still afford the officers protection that that vehicle enables us to have.”

He says they use armored vehicles in situations that could be dangerous for officers.

“You can use those things in a whole lot of different scenarios, they’re bulletproof, they have communication, they have video, they have audio, you can use them to stage your officers… if you had a large protest or a large mass shooting or incident you can provide protection just by their mere presence being there and you can establish your perimeter your command operation centers behind those things,” Zordan says.

The Monroe city council must approve the purchase of the vehicle. If this happens, Chief Zordan says it would take a year to build.