BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Bloomington's mayor has decided to go ahead with buying an armored truck for the college town's police department despite protests that it will militarize the force.
Mayor John Hamilton released a statement Thursday saying the $225,000 vehicle would help protect officers in dangerous situations. He says not buying it could lead to outside police agencies needing to be called into the city that's home to Indiana University's main campus.
Hamilton says city officials will develop specific criteria on use of the vehicle. The Ford F-550 truck will be outfitted with metal plating, bulletproof glass and a detachable battering ram. The number of gun ports will also be reduced from nine to four.
Mayor Hamilton directed the Bloomington Board of Public Safety to conduct regular public reviews of the use of the vehicle and the Critical Incident Response Team.
He also recommended that city council pass a resolution prohibiting the use of the vehicle in general crowd control and prohibiting hhe militarization of the vehicle with armaments or similar attachments.
Black Lives Matter Bloomington organizer Vauhxx Booker tells the Herald-Times that the group will continue its protests, saying Hamilton isn't listening to the voices of marginalized residents.
Read the full text of Mayor Hamilton's statement below: