West Richland PD's Mobile Crime Unit was Essentially Free - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Richland PD's Mobile Crime Unit was Essentially Free

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The small town of West Richland is known for it's quiet atmosphere and general lack of crime. The small town of West Richland is known for it's quiet atmosphere and general lack of crime.

WEST RICHLAND, WA - The small town of West Richland is known for it's quiet atmosphere and general lack of crime. So, why would the Police Department need a nearly $50,000 Mobile Response Unit?

Chief Brian McElroy invited the media on a tour of the high-tech van on Friday afternoon following a letter to the editor in the Tri-City Herald. A man who lives in West Richland wrote about the unit and his concern over why the agency even owns one.

It turns out it was essentially free and they've had it for more than a year. The West Richland Police Department is part of the Department of Defense Excess Property Program. The agency pays a federal fee of $400 a year and then they're given used equipment that they request.

"I saw a need in this community. Not enough of a need to go out and make a $50,000 purchase but for free it was a great acquisition. It's usable and we have put it to use," said McElroy.

Another interesting piece of this story is that the unit was actually surplus from the Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot.

West Richland has spent up to a few thousand dollars spiffing up and maintaining the Mobile Response Unit but all that money stayed local. 
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