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File #: 2021-8247   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 3/30/2021
Title: Recommendation to Consider Options for the Alameda Police Department's Emergency Response Vehicle. (Police) [Not heard on March 2, 2021; continued from March 16 to March 30, 2021]
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Vehicle Deployment Data, 2. Exhibit 2 - Policy 408, 3. Picture of Vehicle, 4. Correspondence from City Manager - Updated 3/2, 5. Correspondence from Council, 6. Additional Pictures of Vehicle, 7. Correspondence - Updated 3-31

Title

 

Recommendation to Consider Options for the Alameda Police Department's Emergency Response Vehicle. (Police)  [Not heard on March 2, 2021; continued from March 16 to March 30, 2021]

Body

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

The City of Alameda (City) Police Department is requesting the Mayor and City Council reconsider their decision to sell the Emergency Response Vehicle. The Emergency Response Vehicle is a critical tool to assist the Police Department in keeping the citizens of Alameda safe.

 

BACKGROUND

 

In 2012, City Council approved the purchase of the Emergency Response Vehicle. At the time, we were unsuccessful in acquiring grant funds to assist with the purchase of the Emergency Response Vehicle. Nevertheless, the City approved the outright purchase of the Emergency Response Vehicle using General Funds.

 

In 2020, City Council directed the City Manager to initiate a process to sell the Emergency Response Vehicle.

 

DISCUSSION

 

The members of the Alameda Police Department believe the Emergency Response Vehicle is a critical piece of equipment needed to help keep the community safe. The Emergency Response Vehicle has been referred to by City Council and citizens as a “tank”. Unlike a tank, a heavily armored fighting vehicle, the Emergency Response Vehicle is a defensive vehicle used to protect and transport citizens, fire personnel, and officers from potentially armed and violent suspects. It is not equipped with a weapon-mounted system and is otherwise not designed for situations where offensive action is required.

 

Moreover, the Emergency Response Vehicle meets industry standards and best practices for serving high-risk search warrants and arrest warrants, using a technique referred to as “surround and callout.” This method is used to help de-escalate situations by allowing officers to be close enough to a location without forcing their way inside, and allowing the subjects time to comprehend what is happening. The Emergency Response Vehicle offers a protective safe space for officers, highly trained negotiators, and mental health professionals to clearly communicate with subjects without unnecessarily exposing themselves or others to dangerous situations.

 

The Emergency Response Vehicle assists officers in following policies that are in place and recommendations from “8 Can't Wait”:

 

REQUIRE DE-ESCALATION - The Emergency Response Vehicle allows a Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) to get as close as possible to armed and or barricaded subjects, from which they can observe what is going on while negotiating with someone in need of help.

 

REQUIRE WARNING BEFORE SHOOTING - Again, the Emergency Response Vehicle allows us to get as close as possible to armed or barricaded subjects. This allows for clear communication between subjects and law enforcement without escalating a situation while maintaining safety for all of those involved.

 

REQUIRES EXHAUSTION OF ALTERNATIVES BEFORE SHOOTING - The Emergency Response Vehicle allows us to exhaust all alternatives before engaging in a potentially lethal force situation. When shots are fired at the police, we can first determine where those shots came from. The Emergency Response Vehicle allows us protection and time to thoroughly investigate where the shots came from to determine what type of response is needed.

 

We have used the Emergency Response Vehicle approximately 30 times since being purchased in 2012. (See Exhibit 1.) Each time we have used it, there have been no injuries to citizens, subjects/suspects, Alameda Fire Department Tactical Medics, or law enforcement personnel.

 

The Emergency Response Vehicle allows us to have tactical medics on the scene and close to render immediate medical attention.  This allows us to immediately render aid to people instead of having to wait for an ambulance to respond to the scene. 

 

In conclusion, the Emergency Response Vehicle is a useful tool to assist the Alameda Police Department in protecting our citizens. 

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

Alternative 1                     The City may retain the Emergency Response Vehicle but limit its use to only defined critical incidents, such as:

                     Citizen or employee rescues

                     Active shooter situations

                     Acts of terrorism or mass casualty incidents involving acts of violence

                     Calls or incidents involving the use or threatened use, of a firearm and other means are not practicable or immediately available to protect citizens or first responders

                     Preplanned high-risk incidents (e.g., search or arrest warrants) with the express consent of the City Manager or his/her designee

                     Requests for assistance for the ERV from allied law enforcement agencies wherein the use meets the above criteria

 

Alternative 2.                     If the City decides to sell the Emergency Response Vehicle we would need to ask outside agencies to assist us if we required an Emergency Response Vehicle or similar type vehicle. Below are the closest agencies and their earliest estimated time of arrivals:

 

Oakland Police Department 20+ Minutes

Alameda County Sheriff's Office 30+ Minutes

Berkeley Police Department 30+ Minutes

San Leandro Police Department 30+ Minutes

Hayward Police Department 40+ Minutes

Union City Police Department 40+ Minutes

Fremont Police Department 40+ Minutes

Livermore/Pleasanton Police Department 50+ Minutes

 

These estimated times of arrivals describe the best possible circumstances when there is someone available from the respective agencies who are qualified to operate the vehicle, traffic conditions are minimal, and the agency is not using the vehicle. The ETA can significantly be extended when there is no one available to operate the vehicle or traffic throughout the Bay Area is high.

 

When an outside agency is used, the vehicle’s use will fall under that department's policies. Although most agencies in the area have similar policies, they may not all be the same.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The City completed the purchase of the Emergency Response Vehicle in 2012 and the ongoing operating and maintenance costs are included in the City’s Fiscal Year 2020-21 fleet maintenance budget. There is no financial impact to the City’s budget from keeping the Emergency Response Vehicle.

 

Sale of the Emergency Response Vehicle would result in one-time revenue for the General Fund according to the sale agreement, and ongoing savings from reducing the need for fleet maintenance.

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

The recommended action to retain the Emergency Response Vehicle is consistent with Departmental Policy regarding adequate equipment needs. (See Exhibit 2)

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

This activity is not a project and is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to section 15378(b)(4) of the CEQA Guidelines, because it involves governmental fiscal activities which do not involve any commitment to any specific project which may result in a potentially significant physical impact on the environment.

 

CLIMATE IMPACTS

 

There are no identifiable climate impacts or climate action opportunities associated with the subject of this report.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Consider further the action from June regarding the Police Department’s Emergency Response Vehicle.  The Police Department recommends retention of the vehicle.

 

CITY MANAGER RECOMMENDATION

 

The Manager recommends that the City Council approve Alternative 1 or a modified version of Alternative 1 where the vehicle is retained but potential uses are defined.

 

If the City Council determines it prefers to continue the sale of the vehicle, I recommend that we put restrictions on the purchase to a public agency.  I believe resale will likely be less than 50% of the purchase price due to the age of the vehicle.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jeffery Emmitt, Police Captain

 

By,

Erik Klaus, Police Lieutenant

 

Exhibits: 

1. Vehicle Deployment Data.

2. Policy 408

 

cc:                     Eric Levitt, City Manager