Walt Philbin, Times-Picayune, February 13, 2008
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Warren Riley on Tuesday used the floor of the Superdome to display more than $1 million in new armament and other equipment, largely for use by the SWAT squad in emergency and riot situations, including a fully equipped mobile command post, two armored cars and modern assault rifles.
Nearly all of the equipment was financed from a $6.6 million state allocation to New Orleans police that was earmarked for crime-fighting items or strategies, Riley said.
The city officials said the new equipment reflected a determination by the Police Department to root out and arrest criminals and make New Orleans safer, as well as to help police handle any emergency situation encountered.
The money will also pay for 600 bullet-proof vests.
The 27- and 14-ton armored cars, costing about $380,000 and $270,000 respectively, will provide cover to officers in SWAT situations and help them safely evacuate citizens from dangerous situations, Riley said.
The vehicles, Lenco Bear and BearCat models, will also enable SWAT officers and negotiators to get closer to barricaded suspects.