A recent donation to the Mount Union Police Department can help officers better respond to active-shooter situations and other similar dangers, according to the borough’s top law enforcer.
Borough officials and residents who attended Wednesday’s council meeting had a chance to take a look at the 1993 International armored truck which was donated in full to the Mount Union Police Department by the Association of Blair County Law Enforcement Officers.
Adam Miller, Mount Union’s chief of police and borough manager, said the truck’s prior owner took great care with its maintenance over the years and noted the vehicle has a new transmission with around 600 miles on it.
“This year, there will be zero cost to the borough,” Miller said, adding the insurance is already covered and that he will personally cover any unforeseen expenses should they arise.
Miller thanked Bill Benson of Benson Investigations LLC who donated $250 toward the vehicle’s care and maintenance. Benson presented his donation to the borough in person just prior to the start of the meeting.
“We are very lucky it have,” Miller said, adding the borough is working with other law enforcement agencies in Huntingdon County on ways to better prepare for various threats to the public.
“The nearest vehicle of its kind is hours away,” Miller said, adding if Mount Union wanted to buy such a vehicle new, it would cost between $250,000 and $300,000. He noted the truck is bulletproof.
Miller said the truck was designed for use in hostage situations and can be used in any circumstance where officers need to approach a location where there is a shooter present. Not only will the vehicle provide protection for responding officers, Miller said it can be used to protect any member of the public whom officers are removing from a threatening situation.
“This should be a source of community pride,” Miller said.
Mount Union Mayor Tim Allison presented council with the department’s monthly statistical report.
During the month of January, department officers issued 18 traffic citations, three non -traffic citations and eight written warnings. Officers also made five criminal arrests, three DUI arrests and one juvenile arrest.
Also during the month, the department handled 101 incidents, assisted state police on five occasions and responded to federal housing properties on 15 occasions.
In addition, Miller reported the police department has received 12 free doses of Narcan which is used to outact opioid overdose. He also reported borough received a $1,500 grant to launch a seatbelt safety initiative starting in May.