Police departments from around the country are adding armored vehicles to their fleets. Some are receiving military surplus equipment while others are purchasing new vehicles with donations or federal funds.
The Orange County (Fla.) Sheriff applied for funds from the U.S. Department of Justice’s asset forfeiture program to obtain a second armored car, a Lenco BearCat, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The sheriff cited the shooting at Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people as a reason for wanting to add the second armored vehicle.
The City of El Monte, Calif., will purchase its own Lenco BearCat armored vehicle using funds from the same program, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported. The vehicle will replace two military vehicles the Police Department already owns — one is too old and the other is too big to fit in an urban environment, its police chief said.
Federal funding isn't the only way to purchase a new armored vehicle. The Palm Springs (Calif.) Police Department will also purchase an armored Lenco Bear tactical vehicle with a quarter-million dollar donation from a local philanthropist and matching city funds, The Desert Sun reported. The PD currently shares a Lenco BearCat with two agencies. The new vehicle will be dedicated to Palm Springs events such as music and film festivals.
Meanwhile, other agencies are taking deliveries of surplus military equipment.
The Hopkins County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office recently took delivery of two donated military surplus vehicles, a Unimog and a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle, the Sulphur Springs News-Telegram reported. The Unimog has a front-end loader and a backhoe and will be used for storm damage, while the MRAP is an armored personnel carrier.
The Benton County (Ore.) Sheriff’s Office is readying a Cadillac Gage Ranger, or “Peacekeeper,” it received through the federal government’s military surplus program, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported. Its sheriff insisted it would not be used to respond to protests, but only for “defensive” purposes such as a transport vehicle or as a response to an active shooter situation, according to the newspaper.