The Lodi Police Foundation raised $200,000, and along with a $50,000 grant, the money enabled police to purchase an armored vehicle. Called the BATT, the brand-new vehicle from Detroit is being driven home by officers, passing landmarks across the country.
“These guys put their lives in danger every day to protect the people of Lodi, or whoever, and for goodness sake, we should be able to support them back,” Eric Scheper’s of Shep’s Sports Bar and Grill said.
“We have community support on this, and we’re very grateful for that,” Lodi police Cpl. Eric Bradley said.
The BATT is geared for city streets and will replace an old armored money truck Lodi converted into its SWAT vehicle more than a dozen years ago.
“It’s old, it’s antiquated, its armor is no longer up to standards,” Bradley said.
Old standards that hit too close to home. One Lodi officer was shot in the leg while inside his patrol car during a pursuit about 14 years ago.
“So this is a real threat that we face,” Bradley said.
“They need our support, and I absolutely support them and the equipment that will protect them and the public,” retired Lodi firefighter Ron Heberle said.
“It will allow us to go into hostile situations, and rescue other officers or evacuate civilian personnel that are in the line of fire,” Bradley said.
“I was in law enforcement, and we need that type of vehicle to protect our officers when they’re in the line of duty,” retired Correctional Officer Darrel Keisz said.
“The police are at risk from automatic weapons to high powered rifles, so if this will keep them safe to get them into a position where they can be more safe and protect the public, period. So I agree with it 100 percent,” Scheper added.