In this changing social climate, active shooter and other high-risk situations are becoming more and more common and the City of Marinette is looking to better protect those that respond to these types of threats. Joe Nault with the Marinette Police Department spoke to the City’s Finance and Insurance Committee Tuesday requesting their support of the purchase of a new police tactical vehicle. Since the department’s Tactical Response Unit was formed, they’ve seen 42 call-outs and they’re happening more frequently. The TRU currently deploys a 2009 E-350 van, but that provides little protection to the team. Nault says the closest tactical vehicle available in extreme emergencies is in Brown County- more than an hour’s wait when seconds matter.
Marinette County had discussed acquiring their own armored vehicle that could potentially be utilized within the city, but have made little progress on that. Committee member Jeff Skork doesn’t want to see Marinette wait on the County to make the first move, but did suggest the county could provide in-kind services in exchange for vehicle use by the Sheriff’s Department.
Nault is pursing a USDA grant that could provide up to $55000 in funding toward the tactical vehicle purchase. The TRU also plans to sell their existing van and put those funds toward the new vehicle, but with a refurbished model running upwards of $170000 the city would still need to come up with another $80000. Nault doesn’t expect a refurbished vehicle to come on the market until next year and the committee sent a recommendation to Common Council to include those funds in the City’s 2020 budget.