Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 26, 2021

Tank full

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

On the City Council’s agenda on Tuesday night is the police tank. So far there’s only one piece of correspondence about the tank and it is one that says we should keep it. So if you have opinions on the tank send them soon.

Based on data provided by the police department it’s not a stretch for me to summarize the data and say that the tank is used largely outside of Alameda. Since 2013 the tank has been used 33 times and of those 33 times it has only been used three times in Alameda.

Three out of 33 times.

Here are the three incidents which the police department felt necessitated the use of this vehicle:

In 2016:

In 2019:

Look I don’t know a lot about police protocol but it feels like at least one of these three incidents was pre-planned and could have been executed with Alameda making its own request for mutual aid from neighboring cities or even our friendly local military outlet.

But in case you’re wondering where our tank went those 30 other times it was pulled out of storage that was not Alameda, here’s the tally:

  • Hayward: 1
  • San Leandro: 8
  • Berkeley: 9
  • Oakland 12

At this point other than the argument “but something bad MAY happen” there’s no historic data which shows that Alameda has needed or will need the tank in the future.


  1. Exactly!

    That’s why I cancelled my health insurance. I’ve only been sick a few times in the last few years. Why should I be insured when I haven’t had a heart attack yet?

    Comment by J for Jenius — February 26, 2021 @ 6:37 am

    • And what about the ladders on the fire trucks? I mean how often do they get used? Or how about the bullet proof vests for the officers? When was the last time they were shot at? Keep going Lauren, You’re on to something here,


      Comment by Really — February 26, 2021 @ 7:10 am

    • Going further, we should perhaps put up guard gates at the entrances to Alameda with armed soldiers because you never know when some foreign nation might chose to invade Alameda.

      Wait, perhaps Alameda should also have our own nuclear arsenal because, you never know what might happen. After all, it’s just “insurance” we’re talking about here amirite?

      Comment by Lauren Do — February 26, 2021 @ 8:00 am

      • Whatever medication it is that helps you differentiate local law enforcement from geopolitical & nuclear arsenal issues, you should get back on it.

        Comment by Pour some reality into your coffee — February 26, 2021 @ 9:26 am

        • Because ladders for fire truck (which are used on the regular) and insurance to pay for health care is in the same universe of similarity as having an armored police tank which has been used three times. Got it.

          Comment by Lauren Do — February 26, 2021 @ 9:34 am

        • Pour some coffee – you almooooost became self-aware. Just almost nailed it. Notice how you’re willing to differentiate local law enforcement with “geopolitical & nuclear arsenal issues.” That’s precisely the issue, this increased militarization of our police forces at a time when they should practice de-escalation and a return to community policing. Perhaps we should separate local law enforcement from military-grade hardware as well.

          Comment by We All Need More Reality — February 26, 2021 @ 9:47 am

        • It’s. Not. A. Tank.

          It doesn’t have a cannon or machine gun installed. It’s not designed to attack as part of a combined arms operation.

          It’s a piece of defensive and protective equipment. The city could have refitted a used Brinks truck for same purpose but buying surplus Army equipment was cheaper. Just because it was acquired from the military doesn’t mean we are militarizing police. Same as police having semi-automatic weapons doesn’t make them an army.

          Comment by It's. Not. A. Tank. But. You. Are. Dim. — February 26, 2021 @ 10:13 am

        • Yah you know when people say “built like a tank” they’re totally talking about the guns it has aboard. Like this wheelchair which is “built like a tank” because of the guns installed on the undercarriage: Or even this Mercedes which is “built like a tank” because the German engineers have cleverly hidden cannons in the headlights:

          Comment by Lauren Do — February 26, 2021 @ 11:14 am

        • Except the colloquialism “built like a tank” in an obvious metaphor for something that is obviously NOT. A. TANK.

          In this really stupid argument the word is being used by really stupid people in the literal sense. They truly believe it is a tank.

          Comment by Bless your heart — February 26, 2021 @ 11:39 am

        • The media calls it a tank. Governments call it a tank. Even the police calls it a tank. It fits the dictionary definition to a T(ank), except for the “metal track” part. The fact is, these are military surplus purchases police departments all over the country have been gobbling up to militarize their emergency response, and whether or not you agree with their effectiveness, tanks have become a symbol for overzealous use of force. Let’s center the discussion on that part.

          Comment by It's A Tank You Dimwit — February 26, 2021 @ 1:30 pm

        • It’s protective equipment, it is not an offensive weapon. It’s basically a Brinks truck with dark paint. Is Brinks an army?

          The vehicle is NOT a weapon. Using it for its intended protective purpose is NOT “military.” At all. This is a stupid debate carried on by stupid people desperate to signal their (wholly absent) virtues.

          Comment by Jesus, you're stupid — February 26, 2021 @ 2:07 pm


          This calls it a tank. A media oulet mislabeling something doesn’t change what is actually is. More to the point, that piece describes how it’s used, which is protecting police officers in a dangerous shooting situation:

          Anytime there’s a public shooting or standoff in an urban area, chances are a BearCat will be on the scene. It has option controls for battering rams, winches and even surviving a chemical weapons attack. With military-grade armor and the ability to take repeated hits from bullets up to .50 caliber, it’s most frequently used as a rolling shield.

          This quotes a hysterical and uninformed person calling it a tank. The article doesn’t call it that, because the writer knows it isn’t.

          This piece does not contain the word tank.

          Nor does this one.

          Pro tip: read and UNDERSTAND a source before citing it. You’ll look less stupid.

          Comment by Jesus, you're stupid — February 26, 2021 @ 2:50 pm

  2. Getting rid of the ERV sends a message to our police officers: we don’t care about you.
    Where do we get an ERV if we really need one after ours is gone? Home Depot? Other cities? But they got rid of theirs also thinking they could use Alameda’s.
    How much savings would there be if the ERV was gone? I suspect it wouldn’t even be noticeable in the police budget.
    Who would we sell it to and for how much? Is a used ERV worth even 10 cents on the dollar?

    Comment by JB — February 26, 2021 @ 7:01 am

  3. Is it great optics? No.

    Is it expensive to maintain? Doubt it.

    We have it. We’re a good neighbor because of it. It’s not even worth the CC discussion as to whether or not to keep it.

    It’s hard enough to find/keep good officers in Alameda, why tell them (yet again) that their lives are not worth keeping?

    Comment by Sleepy Moe — February 26, 2021 @ 7:22 am

  4. Council said they’d sell it. Tick tock. Either follow through or report back that it isn’t worth it so we can move on.

    Interesting that folks like being a good neighbor if it means armored vehicles, but don’t like being a good neighbor if it means housing. Funny, that.

    And to comment #1 the best solution is universal health care so that if you get sick you don’t need to worry about insurance.

    Comment by Gaylon — February 26, 2021 @ 8:59 am

  5. 17-643 incident was this one:
    They called out the tank due to the initial belief there might be a second suspect involved, but that turned out not to be the case.
    I don’t see how getting rid of the ERV sends a message to offficers that we “don’t care” about their lives. The city could sell it to SL or Oakland and borrow it when needed, which, apparently, would not be that often.

    Comment by Kristen — February 26, 2021 @ 9:27 am

  6. The tank is not enough. APD clearly needs anti-aircraft guns, nuclear submarines, and surface to surface missiles. You know, just in case!

    Comment by Rod — February 26, 2021 @ 9:35 am

  7. hey I live in the West End, can we have our own tank, also we should have one for central Alameda, one for Fernside, and one for Bay Farm Island. I think Ballena Bay could just draw up thier bridge. now I feel alot safer.

    Comment by John P. — February 26, 2021 @ 10:19 am

    • Ballena Bay needs its own Navy! And each neighborhood needs tactical nukes, just in case those crazy kids on bikes get up to some no good again. Why isn’t Paul Foreman out there demanding these things to help Make Alameda Great Again?

      Comment by Rod — February 26, 2021 @ 11:11 am

  8. Just had it with y’all calling people stupid, etc. This is a very worthwhile topic that Lauren brought up that makes for an interesting discussion. The childish name-calling does not belong here.

    Comment by Sleepy Moe — February 26, 2021 @ 4:01 pm

    • y”all from Texas.?

      Comment by John P. — February 28, 2021 @ 3:30 pm

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