The Humboldt County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office has added an armored vehicle to its fleet following an active shooter incident in 2016. It purchased the Lenco BearCat all-terrain armored response vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office announced in a release.
The vehicle can be used in a variety of situations, including active assailant incidents, hostage situations, armed or violent suspect apprehension, and search and rescues. As a ballistic-resistant resource, the BearCat allows Sheriff’s deputies to enter dangerous situations and more effectively bring about peaceful conclusions. The vehicle allows deputies to de-escalate situations that could otherwise end up in one or more fatalities. Additionally, the BearCat’s ballistic resistance allows deputies to rescue victims or hostages during an ongoing, violent incident.
In August of 2016, Sheriff’s deputies investigating an active shooter incident at an apartment complex utilized a nearby Sheriff’s Office’s BearCat to conduct nearly 17 hours of negotiations with the shooter. Additionally, deputies used the BearCat to safely evacuate 10 to 12 residents who had been ordered to shelter in place during the incident, as multiple apartments were hit with gunfire. The BearCat was essential to deputy and civilian safety, allowing deputies to utilize all resources possible to de-escalate the situation prior to using lethal tactics, according to the release.
“The BearCat is just another tool the Sheriff’s Office needs to keep the peace in a world that has become increasingly unpredictable,” Sheriff William Honsal said. “This essential piece of life saving equipment will greatly enhance our ability to rapidly react to a volatile life safety incident that could occur anywhere in the county or North state.”
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office BearCat vehicle was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and Measure Z, a sales tax for public safety and essential services.