The Duluth, Minnesota, Police Department will soon have its own armored vehicle to respond to calls. Previously, the agency has relied on a nearby police department's armored vehicle to assist with emergency calls.
The Duluth city council voted unanimously on September 11 to approve the purchase of the department's new vehicle.
Creating Quicker Access to a Critical Emergency Response Vehicle
Duluth PD has a mutual aid agreement with the nearby Superior Police Department to use its armored rescue vehicle as needed.
Since May 2020, Duluth PD has used the vehicle 26 times, while Superior PD has only used it 13 times. Duluth PD has accrued an operational cost of more than $36,000. Through the agreement, the agency pays to use the vehicle, and receive assistance from two Superior police officers. And Superior PD has used ARV 13 times
The department is at the mercy of Superior PD; the vehicle is available at the discretion of Superior's police department.
Most recently, Duluth PD used the vehicle to respond to a scene where two people reportedly shot two teens, one fatally.
The vehicle will cost the agency roughly $380,000, according to Fox 21.
The agency made the decision to purchase the vehicle so that it is available at a moment's notice to respond to crisis situations.
"Purchasing our own armored rescue vehicle invests in the community, city, and department to assist those in crisis," Duluth PD Public Information Officer Mattie Hjelseth said. "DPD’s number one priority has been and always will be the safety and security of our community."
The Lenco BearCat will be mounted on the frame of a Ford F-550 truck. Duluth PD expects to take delivery of the new vehicle at the end of 2024.