MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Richmond police department is hoping to get a ballistic resistance rescue vehicle after an increase in barricade situations.
Chief Rodney Richardson says hiding behind vehicles or having minimal shelter when suspects are firing puts officers' lives at risk.
"We initially talked about it in August of last year when we had our first barricade situation where the suspect would continue to fire shots at either officers or unknown locations," said Richardson. "We had planned to put it on next year's budget. But the escalation of these types of incidents has kind of pushed it as a priority."
In less than six months, Richmond police have responded to six barricade situations. Richardson says three of them were active shooter-type situations, all situations had persons involved that were convicted felons, and most of the suspects involved were armed.
"You have to be proactive in safety. You know, if we can see that this is going to be an issue, or it could potentially be an issue, I think it's public safety's job to think about that and try to resolve it before something does happen," said Richardson.
The vehicle could range between $250,000 -$350,000.
Officers and civilians they evacuate would ideally be protected inside the armored vehicle. Other features would include a loud siren that can be heard by a suspect indoors.
"If someone's actively shooting and we're trying to get people out of the apartment, not only does it put our officers at risk, it puts those citizens at risk that we're trying to get out of that location," explained Richardson. "I can tell you this. The last two or three incidents we've had, I can tell you that officers have been put in situations that they would not be put in if we had that piece of equipment."
It's a costly ask, but one city official has signaled they're open to using American Rescue Plan Act funds for, if possible.