BROWNSBURG — The town council here passed the 2014 budget after some discussion and removal of a specific line item.
The line item in question was for the purchase of an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) to be purchased for the Brownsburg Police Department.
Before the budget could be passed, council president Gary Hood gave his thoughts on the vehicle, which would account for $170,000 of the $40 million town budget.
“I will share with everybody, that I was opposed to this vehicle,” Hood said. “I was quite opposed to this vehicle, when I started into this process. I think the challenge is the fact that Brownsburg is supporting a lot of other areas through our mutual aid. I really believe that this is asking the Brownsburg taxpayers to again carry a cost that will get used on a broader basis within the county and yet the Brownsburg taxpayers are paying for it. I am also concerned that it’s a vehicle that’s only going to be used a few times a year.”
He added that he’s had many conversations with Brownsburg Police Chief Michael Dove regarding the vehicle.
“Chief (Dove) has shared with me that our number of ERT (Emergency Response Team) callouts has gone up over the course of the years,” Hood said. “It started out, I believe, Chief (Dove) was saying it was at two or three and you get up to possibly six or seven. You have to recognize while it would get used, potentially in those situations, you’ve also got an asset that you’ve, in essence, invested the town taxpayers’ money in that’s sitting 350-plus days of the year without really doing anything.”
Hood said he’s also worried about the perceptions the vehicle might cause.
“I am very concerned about the impression that it puts forth that we live in a community that requires armored vehicles in order to be able to provide protection to the town,” he said.