The BearCat is a diesel powered, 4-wheel drive, 10-passenger armored rescue vehicle.

The BearCat is a diesel powered, 4-wheel drive, 10-passenger armored rescue vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Linn County Sheriff's Office

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office in Iowa has taken delivery of a BearCat G2 armored rescue vehicle from Lenco Armored Vehicles. Asset forfeiture money from illegal criminal activity was used to purchase the $297,061 vehicle.

The BearCat is a diesel powered, 4-wheel drive, 10-passenger armored rescue vehicle built to provide blast and ballistic protection to defeat .50 Cal BMG (Browning Machine Gun) ammunition rounds. Unlike military armored vehicles, the BearCat is built on a commercial Ford F-550 truck chassis as a platform and is readily serviceable by Sheriff’s Office mechanics and local Ford dealers. The BearCat is not equipped with any weaponry.

The BearCat protects first responders and allows them to safely approach potentially deadly situations under the cover of an armored rescue vehicle. The armor allows officers to rescue wounded citizens and first responders and to evacuate citizens from life-threatening situations, such as barricaded suspect and active shooter scenarios.

The BearCat is equipped with a roof-mounted nozzle that is hooked directly to a main water line or fire engine for continuous water flow, to enable it to be utilized for fire suppression activities when firefighters are prohibited from safely accessing a fire scene and tactical deployment is necessary.

The BearCat will be deployed anytime there is a potential for armed-subject encounters, such as active shooter situations, barricaded armed subjects, tactical situations, high-risk search warrant executions, and at the request of fire departments.

The Sheriff’s Office tactical team recently participated in a three-day training session in the proper operation and utilization of the BearCat. 

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