SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – After several recent incidents, including a shootout with a murder suspect that left two officers wounded, the Sacramento Police Department will begin to equip new vehicles with armored doors.
One of those events happened back in September. Dramatic video released by the department in a shootout in South Sacramento shows a murder suspect firing multiple rounds striking officers Victor Wolfe and Tim Martin, who shot back.
“It’s a matter of life and death, and we’re making split-second decisions,” said Wolfe, a 12-year veteran who was shot in the leg. “Four of the six rounds were directly aimed at me and Officer Martin.”
He said two of those bullets came through the car door, a door not equipped with armor to shield them.
“I’m hoping after this, the department will look into getting ballistic doors,” he said.
Sacramento Police spokesman Eddie Macaulay says they’ve just never had armored doors.
“It comes down to constantly reevaluating what we’re going to spend the money on and what is a priority to the department,” he said.
Other agencies such as the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol already have the ballistic doors on fleet vehicles.
The department’s cars are manufactured by Ford, and ballistic panels are offered as an option. Video on Ford’s website shows the panels stopping all kinds of ammunition, including armor-piercing rifle rounds.
But the fix isn’t cheap.
A new vehicle costs the department around $30,000. It’s an additional $3,300 to upgrade the doors on the new car or an additional $5,500 to install shields on current cars.
Macaulay said the decision has already been made for future department vehicles.
“In light of a few different incidents that we’ve had, it’s become necessary that we give these officers that additional protection,” he said.
It’s unclear if the department will make moves to retrofit its current fleet, but said officers are trained to use their cars as shields in the meantime.