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Rockford (Ill.) Police Department SWAT Team vehicle manufactured by LDV.

grab handle layouts.

According to Lt. Chris Jacobson, Lodi (Calif.) Police De- partment, purchasing an armored vehicle was not a hard decision because they had been using an old armored bank truck for years although it would not stop rifle rounds. They never know what can happen during the course of a normal shift and for that reason, SWAT deployments al- ways use the armored vehicle and every department mem- ber learns to drive the vehicle and has access to it. Doors on all sides make it easier for officers to deploy from any approach. Their battering ram system not only acts as a ram but has a camera. The 14-foot steel ram can push things open, break windows, and then deploy a cam- era to look inside structures, over fences, on top of roofs or other areas to determine when a situation is safe. The Lodi Police Foundation raised money for two years to provide them with the truck, along with a Homeland Security grant. They have not had citizen complaints about a ‘military vehicle’ and stress that it is simply another law enforcement tool, a civilian custom-made armored police vehicle.

LDV, Inc.

Mary Lynch at LDV noted that larger agencies most often pur- chase SWAT vehicles but RDVs (Rapid Deployment Vehicles) that are utilized by SWAT teams are going to departments of all sizes in all types of counties and municipalities. She stated, “LDV mostly sells personnel carriers with storage for guns, shields, helmets, ballistic vests, day boxes, bang poles, and forcible entry tools. Other fre- quently requested equipment and construction includes thermal imaging cameras, remote controlled spotlights, pole cameras, and heavy-duty reinforced roof construc- tion with safety rails for snipers.” She added that SWAT vehicles typically include bench seating with storage, dry erase boards, look-out windows,

40 LAW and ORDER I July 2015

LDV interior showing bench seating and cabinet storage, Rockford (Ill.) Police Department SWAT Team Vehicle.

night lighting, hidden emergency lighting, multiple exits, exterior running/riding boards, front swivel seating for two SWAT commanders, breaching tool storage, shield storage, scuba bottle storage necessary for meth lab busts, and sometimes a removable table with an inverter system for crisis negotiations after the team deploys. High-tech features available on LDV vehicles include mast antennas for wireless robot control and mast or pole mounted cameras that show multiple views of unsecured areas. LDV also offers customers armoring options. LDV has installed Kevlar lining on the sidewalls (which of- fers protection from 9mm and 44 Magnum handguns and lesser threats) and has also done up-fits of armored ve- hicles upon request, as well as working with vehicle ar- moring companies such as as Terradyne.

Sergeant John Pozzi, Rockford (Ill.) Police Department explained that the process of designing and ordering their LDV vehicle was a two-year process from start to finish. “We wanted to make sure we designed this for every need we could project and the professional staff at LDV worked with us and alongside of us during the entire process.” Pozzi added that SWAT teams order a vehicle designed to meet either their current equipment or projected equip- ment storage and deployment needs. They made sure their design allowed for proper storage of weaponry and related ammunition in secured storage cabinets, as well as all their tools, equipment, ballistic shielding, and other items. All the items for breaching structures have appropriate storage and are easily accessible for quick deployment.

Three Day Boxes, which are a must for such types of police vehicles, were installed in their vehicle to properly store ammunition and law enforcement-use explosive de- vices and that was where an experienced manufacturer was essential. “The team we worked with at LDV had countless years of experience and greatly helped us in

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