SWAT team wants Roswell, Alpharetta, Milton to pay for armored vehicle

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SWAT team wants Roswell, Alpharetta, Milton to pay for armored vehicle

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KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM
The North Fulton SWAT Team is seeking funds for an armored vehicle and two tactical robots. Pictured here is an armored vehicle used by the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department.

A group of cities in north Fulton County could be footing the hefty bill for a new vehicle and devices for local law enforcement.

The North Fulton SWAT Team — made up of officers from Alpharetta, Milton and Roswell — are asking the cities they serve to fund the purchases of an armored rescue vehicle and two tactical robots. The total cost of these three purchases would be more than $375,000.

Led by Alpharetta Police Lt. D.L. French, the SWAT team submitted a proposal at the Alpharetta City Council meeting on Oct. 2, just a day after 58 people were killed in Las Vegas, in a terrorist attack that left more than 500 wounded.

Alpharetta leaders are expected to review the proposal over the next few weeks, while officials in Roswell and Milton will see the proposal at a meeting soon.

According to the agenda item from Alpharetta’s Oct. 2 meeting, the SWAT team claims it has “no safe way to rescue citizens or officers that are under direct gunfire” or a “safe way to approach buildings where crimes are ongoing.”

This, they say, is why they need the armored rescue vehicle, made by Lenco Industries. The agenda item also says a vehicle like this would be useful in rescuing residents in extreme weather conditions.

If approved, the cost of the vehicle would be divided among the three cities, with Roswell paying $149,811.84, Alpharetta paying $106,116.72 and Milton out $56,179.44. Yearly costs to maintain the vehicle would be $1,400.

The two robots the team wants to purchase are an Avatar III made by RoboteX and a Recon Scout XL made by Recon Robotics.

The Avatar, the team says, is a “large tracked robot” that would allow the SWAT team to locate a suspect and communicate with him or her without making direct contact. The Recon Scout XL, according to the agenda, is a “small micro robot” that can be deployed easily in “many locations” and thrown through windows and doorways.

Together, the two robots cost more than $60,000.

As of Monday the proposal by the SWAT Team was not listed on any online agendas for city council meetings in Roswell or Milton.

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