Council Signs Off On Armored Vehicle

OCEAN CITY – The purchase of an armored personnel carrier for the police department was approved this, replacing an existing vehicle that has reached the end of its days.

At the close of Tuesday’s work session, City Manager Doug Miller told the Mayor and Council a problem has arisen with the Ocean City Police Department’s existing armored personnel carrier, but presented a timely solution.

“We have a problem and an opportunity,” he said. “The problem is we have an armored personnel carrier that’s 40 years old that we received from Baltimore County,” he said. “That vehicle has reached end of life. It has an exhaust issue where we get carbon monoxide in the cab. We want to decommission that vehicle.”

Miller said a replacement was located on a government surplus property website and urged the council to act quickly on the opportunity.

“The opportunity is local governments, including us, get rid of surplus equipment through a service called,” he said. “Right now, Washington County has an armored personnel carrier that they’ve declared surplus with a price tag of $80,000. We’d like to pursue that. The reason I bring it to you now is it has an April 1 deadline.”

Miller said Budget Manager Jennie Knapp was able to come up with a creative solution to fund the purchase from a variety of means.

“We were able to find some unrecognized revenue through the income tax,” he said. “We have $56,000 from our police department’s participation in the inauguration in D.C.  For the last 10,000 or so, we have forfeiture money that the police department has, so we can put the financing together. We’re asking for your permission to pursue this.”

Councilman Mark Paddack, a former career officer with the OCPD, made a motion to approve the purchase of the armored personnel carrier for the OCPD, citing the current climate around the country.

“If you’re watching the news, you can see almost daily critical incidents occurring around the country,” he said. “It hasn’t changed in the last 100 years. The town of Ocean City has a piece of equipment that is extremely vital to the police department and special operations.”

Paddack said there were extensive times when the current armored personnel carrier sat idle, but it’s a great resource to have when it’s needed.

“In the past, there were attempts to get rid of it because it wasn’t used enough times,” he said. “You never know how much you really need something until you actually need it and this particular vehicle is something that we need. I don’t like the idea of exhaust coming into the cab. This is the time to do something for our employees.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.