Antioch Council approves sale of antique fire engine to Historical Society, hears about new encrypted police dispatch system

By Nick Goodrich

The Antioch City Council voted Tuesday night to sell to the Antioch Historical Society the city’s 1927 Ford Model T fire engine, among other things, including an antique water apparatus and trailer for the engine, for a nominal fee.

The fire truck is exposed to city residents only several times each year, primarily in parades such as the 4th of July Parade. In their “Fire House Display Project”, however, the Historical Society plans to add an additional building to the Antioch Historical Museum to house and display the truck.

Former Antioch Mayor Donald Freitas, president of the Historical Society, was in attendance at the City Council meeting, along with former Mayor Jim Davis and several other members.

We want to demonstrate the history of fire safety in Antioch,” said Freitas in speaking out in support of the project. “It’s about preservation, education, public safety information, and marketing.”

The Historical Society plans to increase the city’s exposure to the truck, especially to children on school field trips, by keeping it on display while still allowing for it’s use in parades and city events. Jim Davis had discussed the possibility of giving the truck to the Historical Society during his tenure as Mayor.

This is a project that’s new and exciting, and it’s long overdue,” added Tom Monasco, another member of the Society who spoke in front of the City Council Tuesday.

In a unanimous vote, City Council agreed to sell the antique truck, water apparatus, and trailer to the Historical Society, provided the Society allows the city the right of first refusal in the event the equipment is sold again and that the Society finds suitable insurance for the truck. The Historical Society is set to begin fundraising for the Fire House Display Project soon, but Mayor Wade Harper suggested offering funds to bolster the Society’s fundraising efforts, stating that such a project would foster good will with the school district and provide great educational value for Antioch schoolchildren.

APD Chief Cantando 3rd Qtr Report 2015

Antioch Police Chief Allen Cantando also made an appearance before City Council on Tuesday night, presenting the Third Quarter Police Statistics Report for 2015. In his presentation, Cantando noted a 12.3 percent decrease in overall crime in the city of Antioch from last year’s third quarter report, as well as an increase in arrests. Chief Cantando also drew attention to the Antioch Police Department’s recent hiring surge; since November of 2013, the APD has hired 28 new sworn police officers, while undergoing 22 separations due to retirements, resignations, and terminations, creating a net staffing change of 6 personnel. The overwhelming sentiment from City Council was one of good will, praising Chief Cantando for his efforts and urging him to keep up the quality of the APD’s work.

New Encrypted Communication System

A main topic of Cantando’s presentation, however, was the APD’s planned removal of police scanner access to Antioch residents. The APD was scheduled to go live with their new EBRCS scanner system on Wednesday, October 28th, and has elected to pursue the optional encryption feature for their system, which will prevent all but the Police Department from accessing police scanners.

On the APD’s social media pages, the announcement drew the ire of numerous residents, who spoke forcefully against the removal. During the council meeting, however, Cantando reaffirmed his decision, and was supported by Mayor Wade Harper and the City Council.

Cantando stated that access to police scanners through cell phone apps and other devices presents a significant crime risk, as criminals have proven in the past to use them to their advantage. He cited several examples, including cases in which criminals have used scanners to know when to commit crimes whenever police department resources have been devoted elsewhere.

We’re doing it for officer safety reasons and public safety reasons,” said Cantando. “I’m optimistic we’re going to see a reduction in crime.”

The next Antioch City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall on West Second Street.

the attachments to this post:

APD Chief Cantando 3rd Qtr Report 2015
APD Chief Cantando 3rd Qtr Report 2015

6 Comments to “Antioch Council approves sale of antique fire engine to Historical Society, hears about new encrypted police dispatch system”

  1. Loretta Sweatt says:

    I agree with Police Chief Cantando.

  2. Arne says:

    Having worked for some 24 years as a “spook” in Communications Intelligence (COMINT) and Communications Security (COMSEC), it makes perfect sense for the APD to switch to encrypted communications.

    The objective of COMSEC is to prevent your adversaries from being able to intercept your communications to enable them to use it to their advantage. That is why the criminal element monitors the police scanners!

    Now the “bad guys” aren’t going to know what the APD patrols are doing and where they are located !!!

    • Reginald Jamal Brown says:

      Excellent point. Too bad the majority of Antioch are dumb voters who couldn’t identify the difference between a bump on a log and Harper.

      • Publisher says:

        Mr. Brown,
        Please refrain from using vulgarity in your comments on the Herald website.
        Thank you.
        Allen Payton, Publisher

        • Reginald Jamal Brown says:

          Duly noted, Mr. Payton.

          Sometimes the audacity and shear drama of right and wrong, just gets the best of me *sigh*.

Leave a Reply