WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Brenham police department now has a tactical military style vehicle that Police Chief Rex Phelps says can be used to protect law enforcement officers and even rescue people in emergencies.
Phelps told Thursday's meeting of the Brenham City Council that they have already taken delivery of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protection vehicle from the now closed BAE plant from Sealy.
He said the $733,000 vehicle comes to the city free of charge and satisfies the concerns of the police department's SWAT Team, which he says, has been wanting such a vehicle for many years.
He said the MRAP would allow police officers in tactical situations to be protected from virtually all domestic type weaponry. The MRAP could allow law enforcement officers to get close enough to stop a deadly situation. Phelps went on to say that such vehicles are getting to be commonplace among law enforcement agencies across the nation.
Phelps also addressed concerns that this is a sign of the 'militarization of the police department.
Mayor Pro-Tem Gloria Nix said accepting this vehicle was a 'win, win' for the city, even after questions about the cost of maintenance, and a question about the cost of the tires, and the city council agreed to accept the vehicle.
Phelps said that if the city ever believed that the vehicle was too costly, they could always return it.
Phelps said they had to accept the vehicle as soon as it was offered and it is now in the possession of the police department.