The Wilmington (N.C.) Police Department has added two armored vehicles to its fleet for the upcoming hurricane season. The agency took delivery of two Oshkosh M-ATV vehicles from the Department of Defense’s 1033 Law Enforcement Donation - Loan Program.

The two vehicles are valued at a combined cost of $1.3 million. The city’s only cost was transporting the units from Texas, which cost $7,000.

“Hurricane Florence dumped a lot of water into our city, stalling critical rescue efforts,” said Ralph Evangelous, chief of police, in a release. “These units will help us to reach our citizens in a timely manner and save thousands of dollars in damages to our fleet.”

During Hurricane Florence, seven patrol cars received heavy water-related storm damage. These M-ATVs will be used primarily for storm response and high-water rescue. Due to the amount of water these vehicles can forge, the hardened armored protection, and run-flat tires, these vehicles will be ideal for response during active hurricane conditions.

The new units will be painted black and white to match the standard police fleet, and high visibility chevrons will be installed on the front. The city’s Fleet Management Division is working with the local community college to paint and upfit the vehicles.

The units are expected to be road-ready by October. Fleet technicians will maintain the vehicles.

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