RIPON - An armored truck is now a part of the Ripon Police Department’s crime fighting arsenal.
The gift from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is being planned for use in rescue and SWAT operations.
Ripon officers currently take part in the Manteca SWAT team operations. The armored vehicle will serve as an added protection for those officers in addition to being able to rescue those victims who may be in the line of fire at a hostage or shooting scene.
Sgt. Steve Merchant said his department was gifted the vehicle because of Ripon’s reputation as an agency that will actually utilize equipment that it obtains. Merchant said the armored victim rescue vehicle will be available to support local law enforcement agencies upon their request for mutual aid.
In last year’s police standoff with armed robbers who had taken refuge in a duplex in the 100 block of South Lincoln Avenue in Manteca, an armored vehicle from Modesto was called to the scene to shield SWAT members from possible gunfire who were moving around the outside of the building looking for the suspects.
Police are often outgunned in shooting situations where they are confronted with high powered weapons in the hands of criminals. While Ripon and Manteca are both relatively small communities in comparison to those in Southern California, Sacramento and the Greater Bay Area, both cities have the Highway 99 corridor run through their cities. Highway 120 and Interstate 5 are both major arterials with the potential for big city criminal travel and associated threats.
Many police cars now carry high powered rifles and motorcycle officers in some larger communities have assault rifles mounted on the side of their police units knowing what threats exist today.