The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office will be receiving a tactical armored vehicle and a renewed ammunition contract after the Commissioners Court approved both purchases—a little more than $484,00—during the Feb. 7 meeting.

There were 128 vendors contacted in regard to the tactical armored vehicle and invited to participate in the bid process. Two bids were made from Terradyne Armored Vehicles Inc. and Lenco Industries Inc, but the former did not meet the sheriff’s office’s specifications on required wheelbase length, according to court documents. The approved vehicle, a Lenco BearCat G3, will be purchased for $345,245.32.

It will be the first tactical vehicle for the sheriff’s office.

County Judge Tim O’Hare and Commissioners Gary Fickes and Manny Ramirez voted in favor, while Commissioners Alisa Simmons and Roy Charles Brooks voted no. The votes went along party lines with the Republican majority passing the measure.

“I don’t believe in the militarization of our public safety offices and departments, and I’m not going to vote for this,” said Brooks, who represents Precinct 1.

Simmons, from Precinct 2, raised concerns about maintenance and training costs due it being the county’s first armored vehicle. She was informed by county officials that the vendor will provide training for the drivers and equipment, and a warranty will cover maintenance services.

The newly elected Simmons also inquired how many instances in the last two years required a tactical armored vehicle. County officials estimated 17 to 18 instances in the past year, but Simmons said she did not recall these cases.

Deputy Sheriff Raymond Whitis noted that the vehicle is an armored personnel carrier–for up to 12 officers—after a public speaker referred to it as a tank. He said the vehicle will provide mobile safety for law enforcement and the public. Ramirez recalled a recent incident in which an officer was almost killed and stated his support of the public safety officers' needs.

“I will always prioritize public safety, but I will always prioritize the safety of our public safety officers, the ones that are putting their lives on the line every single day,” said Ramirez, a former Fort Worth police officer who won election in November.

In other law enforcement related business, three vendors were contacted and asked to submit bids for purchase of ammunition. Only one, received from GT Distributors Inc., met all requirements of the sheriff’s office, per court documents. The contract costs $139,532 and will be in effect until March 31, 2024, according to court documents.