Bloomington police face criticism for armored truck purchase

Bloomington’s police department is facing criticism for buying an armored truck that opponents argue will militarize the college town’s police force.

Posted: Feb 19, 2018 3:50 PM

BLOOMINTON, Ind. (AP) — Bloomington’s police department is facing criticism for buying an armored truck that opponents argue will militarize the college town’s police force.

Residents who oppose the new $225,000 truck that’s being built for the department’s critical response team questioned Police Chief Mike Diekhoff about the purchase last week.

Protesters halted Mayor John Hamilton’s annual State of the City address two days later by shouting and using a megaphone to voice their unhappiness about the vehicle, which will be outfitted with metal plating and have bulletproof glass designed to stop high-powered rifle rounds.

Vauhxx Booker, an organizer for Black Lives Matter Bloomington, stood and interrupted the mayor’s speech on Thursday. He was joined by dozens of other audience members, who shouted as Hamilton tried to continue speaking. The protesters argued that the armored truck would militarize police in the city of 85,000 residents that’s home to Indiana University’s main campus.

“We don’t want that in our community,” Booker told The Herald-Times following the protest.

Hamilton said during his speech that local government didn’t “air enough of those questions and concerns publicly early enough” and laid out plans for community meetings on the issue.

Bloomington police have been without an armored vehicle since 2012, when its truck became too unreliable to use and maintain. The new civilian-grade armored vehicle is being built to the department’s specifications.

Diekhoff said last week that his department is “very cognizant of the perceptions of being militarized” but stressed that it needs the new vehicle and it will only be used by specially trained officers who respond to high-risk calls involving firearms.

“I’ve never had to go and tell the spouse, the significant other, of a police officer that they’ve been shot and killed. I don’t ever want to do that. In my mind, this is insurance,” Diekhoff said. “The fact that I can take a step to protect my police officers, to protect people they are responding to who have been under fire . it’s based on our experience that our officers have been fired at when they are trying to provide a safe alternative.”

The critical response team, which responded to 19 incidents in 2017 and 15 incidents in 2016, currently travels in two 15-passenger vans that have had the seats removed to make room for guns and other equipment.

___

Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 36578

Reported Deaths: 2258
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10188604
Lake3876207
Allen181071
Cass15919
Elkhart158528
St. Joseph135838
Hendricks120478
Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
Porter56233
Clark53942
Bartholomew53139
LaPorte44824
Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
Jackson4012
Delaware39741
Shelby39722
Hancock35427
Boone32436
Floyd31941
Vanderburgh2913
Morgan28626
Noble27821
Montgomery24917
Clinton2471
White2399
Decatur23132
Grant22923
Dubois2113
Kosciusko2052
Harrison19622
Marshall1872
Henry18512
Vigo1828
Greene17226
Dearborn17122
Monroe17113
Lawrence17124
Warrick16729
Miami1461
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
LaGrange1282
Scott1263
Franklin1168
Ripley1086
Daviess10416
Carroll952
Wayne906
Steuben902
Wabash812
Newton8010
Fayette797
Jasper741
Jay580
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Fulton511
Washington501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb451
Starke423
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Wells350
Owen341
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford250
Adams231
Switzerland220
Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
Unassigned0180

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 125915

Reported Deaths: 5795
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook813443880
Lake8647334
DuPage7997394
Kane6672205
Will5799285
Winnebago246566
McHenry167779
St. Clair126292
Kankakee98954
Kendall83919
Rock Island70325
Champaign6777
Madison62465
Boone49817
DeKalb4508
Sangamon36029
Peoria30111
Jackson30010
Randolph2734
McLean22613
Ogle2253
Stephenson2115
Macon20020
Clinton19017
Union17114
LaSalle16016
Whiteside14913
Coles13817
Iroquois1355
Warren1220
Out of IL1161
Grundy1112
Knox1020
Jefferson10116
Monroe10012
McDonough9113
Unassigned900
Lee821
Tazewell815
Cass760
Williamson753
Henry700
Pulaski580
Marion520
Jasper467
Macoupin462
Adams441
Morgan421
Perry420
Vermilion421
Montgomery411
Livingston362
Christian354
Jo Daviess321
Douglas280
Jersey241
Menard220
Bureau211
Fayette213
Ford211
Woodford212
Washington190
Mason180
Mercer180
Carroll172
Hancock171
Shelby161
Alexander140
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Fulton120
Moultrie120
Clark110
Crawford110
Johnson110
Logan110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Wayne91
Effingham81
Henderson80
Massac70
Saline70
Greene60
Wabash60
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland40
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Robinson
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 64°
Rockville
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 60°
Casey
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 66°
Brazil
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Marshall
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Mostly sunny and hot
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Art honors Hoosier pilot

Image

Protesters gather for change

Image

Free Fishing Weekend

Image

First outdoor market of summer in Terre Haute

Image

Individual diploma presentations

Image

Protesters demand justice for George Floyd

Image

1 injured in ATV accident

Image

Saturday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Umpires

Image

The Salvation Army and the historic origins of National Donut Day

WTHI Events