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The City of Chula Vista does not want to be “outgunned,” according to councilmember Steve Castaneda. Following that idea, the entire council voted for a no-bid purchase of a Lenco BearCat armored tactical vehicle at the November 24 council meeting.

Background for the purchase was provided in council agenda minutes: “The police department received $407,974 as part of Operation Stonegarden to conduct regional law enforcement operations to intercept terrorists and their weapons from coming across the United States border.” (Operation Stonegarden is the Department of Homeland Security’s program to “enhance state, local and tribal law enforcement operations and assets along the border.”)

Captain Gary Ficacci of the Chula Vista Police Department told the council the BearCat was going to replace the old S.W.A.T. armored vehicle from the ’80s. However, different than the old armored vehicle, the BearCat is intended for regional use and it will be available for problems in National City, Imperial Beach, Coronado, and South San Diego.

Chula Vista mayor Cheryl Cox asked if there would be a shared expense if, for example, the vehicle were needed for an incident in National City; “No,” Ficacci answered, “Chula Vista will assume the cost.”

Ficacci noted in a follow-up email interview: “Any local, state, or federal agency in our area may request the use of this regional asset for any legitimate law enforcement purpose.” Ficacci wrote that he expects four to six officers to be trained to operate the vehicle. Among the justifications for the BearCat articulated by staff were: “delivery of emergency medical services/rescuers in active shooter situations; performance of group evacuations of up to 20 citizens at a time; and deployment of up to 15 fully equipped officers in high-risk situations.”

At the council meeting, community activist Daniel Green asked the council, “When was the last time there was a need for a vehicle of this type in Chula Vista?”

Councilmembers Castaneda and John McCann responded that border violence and border-violence spillover necessitated the purchase. McCann also recalled that the S.W.A.T. team was needed for a shooting at Congregational Tower, an assisted-living building, in 2001.

Photo: from the Lenco website swattrucks.com

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 2, 2010 @ 7:33 a.m.

However, different than the old armored vehicle, the BearCat is intended for regional use and it will be available for problems in National City, Imperial Beach, Coronado, and South San Diego.

These clowns in public office and public employment kill me.

I dont know how much $$$$ this white elephant will cost, but I can guarantee you it will not return even 5 cents on the dollar.

Coronado!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE! IB, right! There are millons of terrorists" in these areas with tons of fire power that would require a million dollar armored SUV that gets 1 mile to 5 gallons of gas.

This is nothing more than a toy. A non essential toy that NO ONE will use.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 2, 2010 @ 7:37 a.m.

“delivery of emergency medical services/rescuers in active shooter situations; performance of group evacuations of up to 20 citizens at a time; and deployment of up to 15 fully equipped officers in high-risk situations.”

==================

And how often will thsi happen?? Never-that's when.

.

At the council meeting, community activist Daniel Green asked the council, “When was the last time there was a need for a vehicle of this type in Chula Vista?”

NEVER! it is nothing mroe than a toy, a million dollar toy.

Councilmembers Steve Castaneda and McCann responded that border violence and border-violence spillover necessitated the purchase.

REALLY! Once again elected idiots with no clue-just a bunch of unverified, unsupported, hyped hysteria.

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Woodchuck Dec. 2, 2010 @ 1:48 p.m.

Many years ago when I was part of the drug culture, the attitude of "getting something for nothing" was rampant. This always led to bad decisions and highly questionable actions. Fast forward thirty-something years and we see that this idea that if it is free it is always good has permeated our local government. Has the grant writer, highly touted by the mayor, reached a level of success that is the envy of other cities? Perhaps not. The 2011 budget has a reported 18 million dollar pile of red ink yet we can't wait to waste resources on fancy, shiny baubles for the public safety departments. How about the fire department enormous Urban Search and Rescue Vehicle and now the armored anti-terrorist or drug war vehicle. I doubt if the catastrophe these are meant to address ever happens but we are ready despite the cost and lack of common sense.

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Founder Dec. 2, 2010 @ 4:13 p.m.

$407,974 comes in and $407,974 goes out...

More Drug War material that gets pre-positioned in Chula Vista that can be requested by San Diego if needed while its maintenance becomes yet another burden for Chula Vista, a City that cannot keep its Library's open long enough or provide other basic services!

It will look good on TV and in parades!

I hope they paint CHULA VISTA on it really BIG!

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 2, 2010 @ 4:54 p.m.

$407,974 comes in and $407,974 goes out...

========================================

here, let me fix this for you Founder;

"$407,974 comes in and $407,974 goes in the toilet to be flushed away..."

Thius is a HUGE waste- total watse- of taxpayer money for a white elephant that will not return even one penny on the dollar for the "investment".

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Visduh Dec. 2, 2010 @ 9:20 p.m.

While this purchase looks like a financial boondoggle, it is reflective of our times that anyone thinks there is a need for it. If this violence really spills across the border on a large scale, CV will need not one of these, but a dozen of them. That violence is already showing up here, it just is not seen as such. When it reaches a crisis stage, which could happen very quickly, no border town PD will be able to deal with it. It will look like an invasion, and will require a military response. A waste I hope it is. If it is really needed, we are in deeper trouble than any of the previous posters can imagine.

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VigilantinCV Dec. 2, 2010 @ 10:04 p.m.

This is just one more example of how the CVPD will never live within their means. They built the Taj Majal with a 42 bed jail under Rick Emerson which has cost us millions of dollars. Do they really need Bernard Gonzalez to stand in front of the garish sign to make announcements about a stolen brass pig. an ATM heist, et al? The city council plays into this insatiable appetite by acting like grant money is free money.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 3, 2010 @ 9:54 a.m.

The city council plays into this insatiable appetite by acting like grant money is free money.

And THAT is a HUGE part of the problem, that this money is "free", thus it is to be squandered as to how these clowns see fit.

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Fred Williams Dec. 2, 2010 @ 11:13 p.m.

This urban assault vehicle is far more likely to be used on US citizens engaged in political or social protest than against terrorists or drug kingpins.

The militarisation of our country's police forces, and inculcation of a war-like "us versus them" attitude in law enforcement, from the TSA to the local cops, bodes ill for America's future freedoms.

Radley Balko has lots more examples:

http://www.theagitator.com/category/paramilitary-police-raids/

Daniel Green was the only one at the meeting asking the right questions.

Now we'll see how and when the police will justify using this weapon of war, and against whom.

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Pancho Dec. 3, 2010 @ 5:22 a.m.

I love it. On one hand the city planned to lay off 33 cops plus roughly 40 other city employees. As of yesterday, December 1, over 50 more city employees received layoff notices, yet the city leadership believes it can afford the ongoing costs of maintaining such as specialized vehicle like this. I for one would rather keep the graffiti removal truck and it's crew in operation than see this vehicle driven around for show and tell. In case you missed it, the graffiti removal crew is slated to be cut as of January 7.

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Pancho Dec. 3, 2010 @ 5:25 a.m.

Correct that, as of yesterday, December 2, not December 1 the additional layoff notices went out.

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Founder Dec. 3, 2010 @ 7:08 a.m.

More and more City employees get hired either because of their military background, City mandated preference or by the old boy network...

Our City's will tend to be governed by those that expect to be treated with "Hero" status, while at the same time they are riding the Pension train to early retirement and becoming wealthy

Public "Servant" has now been replaced by Public "Ruler"!

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 3, 2010 @ 9:57 a.m.

More and more City employees get hired either because of their military background, City mandated preference or by the old boy network...

================ I guarantee you at least HALF, if not 75%, of the CVPD is ex military, and the remaining officers are just like you said-nepotism, cronyism and lawsuit consent decree hires.

If you hired gov positions purely on civil service testing (objective written tests instead of subjective oral interviews) the entire make up of the personnel would be 180 degrees different.

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Founder Dec. 3, 2010 @ 10:19 a.m.

Right On That is why we have the fiscal problems we do, nobody will speak up because they do not hire folks that "speak up", just those "that will only follow Orders", which brings to mind all kinds of very bad images from the past...

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Susan Luzzaro Dec. 3, 2010 @ 9:12 p.m.

Pancho, the extravagances of Chula Vista in boom days boomerang on us. Someone close has received a pink slip from the city...

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 4, 2010 @ 8:27 a.m.

You CANNOT incur long term debt-like salary and pension insreases- based on short cyclical/term market upturns.

ALL long term debt should be based on a non risk rate of return, Tresury Bills. That fact was not followed and did not happen at any muni.

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Founder Dec. 4, 2010 @ 12:48 p.m.

I only hope all those with "PINK SLIP" friends and family start getting very active in CV so that this not only does not keep happening but everyone starts electing Leaders that will themselves reduce the Pension PORK for all CITY Employees!

It is really too bad that all CV Workers did not agree to take a bit of a pay cut based upon their salary instead of seeing of their fellow employees laid off!

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 4, 2010 @ 3:55 p.m.

I only hope all those with "PINK SLIP" friends and family start getting very active in CV so that this not only does not keep happening but everyone starts electing Leaders that will themselves reduce the Pension PORK for all CITY Employees!

================= I'll second this motion.

. .

It is really too bad that all CV Workers did not agree to take a bit of a pay cut based upon their salary instead of seeing of their fellow employees laid off!

=============== When it gets right down to it, these people are selfish, they put themselves ahead of the community-and co workers- when doing essentially destroys the community.

If the top compensated empoyees (especially those in the $100K+ club like the cops, ff's, city managers and so forth) took 15% compensation cuts there would be no need to lay off others.

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Founder Dec. 4, 2010 @ 4:18 p.m.

Yes

It is so true and so sad!

Solidarity is now spelled $OLIDARITY...

America is now being run (into the ground) by the ME generation!

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Pancho Dec. 4, 2010 @ 8:36 p.m.

The Me generation??? The ones mostly that are saying, "no" to any proposed pension cuts are of the Baby Boom generation. The ones from the Me generation that are still lucky enough to have jobs practically want to throw in the kitchen sink to save their jobs. It's the baby boomers looking at retirement in less than five years that are afraid of losing the so-called CalPERS spike in their retirement.

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Founder Dec. 5, 2010 @ 8:02 a.m.

By "ME" generation I'm referring to all those greedy folks that only care about themselves and they span several "group" names!

The early baby boomers are already on early SS retirement, many because that was their only option, now that good jobs are almost unavailable for those over 60 to find...

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Founder Dec. 5, 2010 @ 8:04 a.m.

  • Solidarity is NOT spelled $OLIDARITY -*

What is now happening here So many living in fear

During the 60's we all tried to help each other It wasn't just something you learned from your own mother

Now for folks there are almost no good jobs If you listen close you can hear the sobs

Looking for a good job is real tough on the feet But that's not as bad as having nothing to eat

There are so many that are in this situation That it is changing the image of our great nation

We all need to work together again And start treating each other like our kin

We The People control our own fate Our Country was not built upon hate

Even those Managers on Wall Street will see the light When they watch their investors money start to take flight

Each of US must tell our Leaders of our aim And remind them that this is no greedy game

If we all can call our Leaders each and every day Soon they will have to listen to what we have to say

Its time for each of US to take a stand And give our fellowman a helping hand

*from http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/np-star/2010/aug/26/rhyme-a-day/#c78656

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