The Sheriff’s Office recently acquired a new emergency vehicle
Smokey Barn News
Friday December 19, 2014
Robertson County, Tenn.
Robertson County Sheriff’s Office Acquires New Utility Vehicle
The Robertson County Sheriff’s Office recently acquired a new addition to its emergency vehicle fleet. On Monday, December 15th, the sheriff’s office received an all-terrain, all-weather armored vehicle, also known as an “MRAP”. The vehicle is a demilitarized specialty unit that the sheriff’s office will primarily use as the new carrier for the Emergency Response Team (ERT), but it will also have a variety of other applications.
Besides inserting deputies into a dangerous environment, the vehicle can also be used to evacuate citizens from a potentially hazardous situation or deliver supplies in the event of a natural disaster such as a tornado or flood. “It is important for everyone to know that this is not an offensive weapon,” said Chief Deputy Michael Van Dyke. “There are no machine gun mounts or rocket launchers. This is a tool that will allow our deputies to reach citizens in danger and rescue them if they need to be evacuated.”
The sheriff’s office has possessed its current ERT vehicle since 2003. The current ERT vehicle is an armored truck originally donated by Brinks Security, but is only two-wheel drive. The new MRAP is also six-wheel drive allowing it to be geared more for a rural response as opposed to two-wheel drive that is better suited for city response.
“This vehicle is able to navigate various terrains,” said Van Dyke. “If we had a natural disaster, this vehicle will be our way to get across a debris field to reach those in need.”
The vehicle was acquired for a cost of $3,067.00. This will be paid out of money seized from local drug dealers. The vehicle typically retails for $733,000. “We are very fortunate to have this new addition, and even more fortunate to be able to acquire it without costing the taxpayers of Robertson County a single penny,” said Sheriff Bill Holt. “Our Emergency Response Team needs to be able to get off-road,” Holt said. “We service many citizens that do not live on city streets or paved roads. It is imperative for the safety of our citizens to be able to get around in various areas and conditions.”
“We have been looking at upgrading our ERT vehicle for quite a while, but these vehicles are typically so expensive that it has been cost-prohibitive to do so,” said Sheriff Holt. “Our job is to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars, and we feel like we have succeeded by acquiring this vehicle at virtually no cost.”
The recently acquired MRAP is essentially brand new. It is a remounted body on a brand new chassis and engine. “It had three miles on it when we picked it up,” said Chief Van Dyke. “The vehicle is in great condition.”
Smokey first became aware of the new “MRAP” yesterday when a local resident encountered the vehicle at a restaurant in Springfield and took a few photos. Some worry that police are becoming over militarized but many police agencies across the country are acquiring this kind of equipment at bargain basement prices. You may remember a similar piece of equipment was used by White House police in a standoff last December. (Video and full story)
In a situation where police or citizens need to move in or out of a dangerous situation, this kind of vehicle can be used to transport people and equipment safely.
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