Commissioner Greg Simmons said a vehicle of this type can make a difference.
“This vehicle will be a lot better for the safety of the deputies as well as other departments,” Simmons said. “The sheriff told me there are times, even in a hostage situation, that once that vehicle pulls up, the fight is gone, they will come out … This is going to save lives.”
The Lenco BearCat armored vehicle with upgrade options is being purchased from Lenco Industries Inc. at a cost not to exceed $285,256. The sheriff’s office has a 1984 Peace Keeper armored vehicle which it says is functional but has maintenance issues and tactical limits.
The new vehicle will take six to nine months for production. It will have several features not included on the sheriff’s existing armored vehicle. Those include:
- Off road capability to operate with flat tires;
- Higher ground clearance to operate over debris field, high water situations, etc.;
- Larger and safer gun/over watch port out of the top;
- Rotation of 360 degrees;
- Sides of the vehicle have multiple gun ports that can be used to safely communicate with officers outside, to deploy gas, or to discharge firearms;
- New vehicle will fit 12 fully outfitted special response team members, rather than the current vehicle’s four;
- Ballistic protection of the armor is far superior than the current vehicle and will stop up to .50 caliber rounds;
- Extendable hydraulic arm attached to the front with a ram plate and attachable break and rake tools allowing for the breaching of doors, windows, and walls to allow for deployment of gas and/or personnel;
- 360 degree spotlighting system, PA system, large AC & heat unit for the interior;
- Back-up camera along with a rear facing camera that operates at all times;
- Extra room for storage of equipment.
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