Menifee Police Department gains traffic safety grant, a 3 city SWAT team MOU and an armored vehicle

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The Menifee City Council approved the purchase of a refurbished G3 BearCat Armored Vehicle and authorized the city manager to enter into a memorandum of understanding between the Murrieta and Hemet SWAT teams and the city’s police department’s Swat Team during the Wednesday, Sept. 2, regular meeting.

The council also accepted an $115,000 Office of Traffic Safety Enforcement Program grant for the police department which announced a traffic violation crackdown recently. The purpose of this grant is to reduce the number of driving under the influence incidents and collisions within the city of Menifee.

For many years, the Murrieta and Hemet Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics Team have worked together in major crimes calling for SWAT team intervention. The new Menifee Police Department SWAT Team, with the council’s consent, joined in the MOU to establish a joint operations program. The joint operation will be called the Southwest Cities Special Weapons and Tactics Team covering all three cities with more than 330,000 residents. Currently the Menifee Police Department has four trained SWAT team members with the goal of eventually having 10 SWAT officers.

Most likely, the SWAT team will be using the refurbished BearCat Armored Vehicle, called the ARV, that will be purchased by the city for $228,378.63. The purchase will be made using the police department’s budget carryovers reported to the council in July.

ARVs are used as a mobile shield in an active shooter situation, providing protection to officers during high risk warrant services or other high-risk tactical situations and removing downed officers or injured citizens in a hazardous or hostile environment.

The ARV will also be used to safely deliver equipment, supplies and other necessities during these types of operations. The ARV can also be used for citizen rescues and evacuations during emergencies such as flooded roadways due to its high ground clearance and ability to carry more than 12 occupants.

The Hemet and Murrieta Police Departments already have their own ARVs.

The department will send four officers to Standardized Field Sobriety Testing training, two officers to Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement training, one officer to Drug Recognition Expert training and one officer to DRE instructor training.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at tault@reedermedia.com.