PITTSBURG -- The police department plans to buy an armored vehicle that would be dispatched to high-risk situations.
The City Council on Monday approved the $177,452 purchase, which would be paid for with $52,452 in asset seizure funds and $125,000 in law enforcement equipment grant funds. No general fund money would be used.
The purchase is not related to an increase in crime in Pittsburg, but instead is about having immediate access to such a vehicle, according to police Chief Brian Addington, who pointed out that violent and property crimes for the first five months of 2013 are down 13 percent from the same period a year ago.
While Antioch has an armored vehicle, Brentwood and Oakley do not.
The vehicle that the Pittsburg police department will buy would be manufactured by The Armored Group, a company headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., and is expected to arrive within two to three months.
The department has never had an armored vehicle. That means police have to borrow one from either the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office or East Bay Regional Parks when needed in situations such as barricaded suspects and serving high-risk warrants. However, availability is not always guaranteed and it takes at least an hour to get the borrowed vehicle to the scene, according to a staff report that recommended the purchase.
The council voted 5-to-0 in support of the recommendation. No one spoke in favor or against the recommendation.
In other action, the council gave final approval to a social host ordinance that would make parents and other adults who host drinking parties for teenagers or allow such parties to take place while they are away subject to hefty fines and on the hook for costs associated with a police response.
Police who respond to an incident involving underage drinking will have one of three options under the ordinance, which takes effect Aug. 14.
Officers can refer the matter to the District Attorney's office for possible prosecution as a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in the county jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both. Or police can issue a notice of infraction, which would result in a maximum fine of $500 for each offense.
The third option is to issue an administrative citation, where the civil fine would be $500 for a first violation and $1,000 for a second and each additional violation within a 12-month period.
In addition to fines, the city could also pursue recovery costs for the police or other emergency response services to the incident.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.