Recall from several days ago that UC Berkeley Police, the City of Berkeley Police (unbeknowst to their City Council), and the City of Albany Police Departments had submitted an application for a Bearcat armored vehicle to the Department of Homeland Security.
Amazingly enough, expressing enough outrage and subjecting the planned acquisition to sufficient ridicule was enough to change some important people’s minds.
The statement below regarding plans for the joint acquisition of an armored emergency rescue vehicle was issued today (Thursday, July 5th) by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, in coordination with the mayors of Berkeley and Albany.
The University of California Police Department, in collaboration with the Berkeley and Albany city police departments, recently pursued a grant for an armored emergency rescue vehicle. Law enforcement’s interest in obtaining a vehicle that would protect officers during situations involving oncoming gunfire (or to rescue victims during such situations) — such as occurred at Oikos University in Oakland a few months ago — is understandable.
However, the planned acquisition of the vehicle recently came to the attention of campus and city officials. Campus administrators evaluated the proposal and concluded that such a military-style vehicle is not the best choice for a university setting. UC Berkeley officials are in the process of canceling the order for the vehicle. Officials in Berkeley and Albany agree with the University’s decision.
Robert Birgeneau, Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
Tom Bates, Mayor of Berkeley
Farid Javandel, Mayor of Albany