Oct 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm
ST. CLOUD (KNSI) - The St. Cloud Police SWAT team will be responding to future calls in a slightly used, highly armored vehicle.
The force is one of seven agencies in the state approved to receive the MRAP vehicle - which stands for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected - from the Law Enforcement Support office and Minnesota Homeland Security. They rolled it out for a presentation to members of the media on Monday morning.
SCPD Sgt. Marty Sayre, who commands the SWAT team, says the vehicle is worth nearly $500,000, but the force only paid $2,800 in shipping costs.
"They're actually in a funding area for Homeland Security called the Urban Areas Initiative, but we're right outside of that," Sayre explains. "So, we submitted a needs statement based on population, the college, the community itself and the critical infrastructure that's here - and based on that, we were selected."
Sayre says, while it looks like a tank, the main purpose of the vehicle is simply to add ballistic protection and keep officers safe from gunfire or explosives in extreme situations.
"It does look intimidating, but it's really a big rolling piece of armor," Sayre says. "It doesn't enhance our lethal capabilities. It's not a tank. A tank has a cannon on it. This is just so our operators can be inside, and be safe."
Sayre adds, the vehicle could also be used as a safe space for civilians in emergency situations.
SCPD's MRAP vehicle was formerly used in training exercises in Fort Riley, Kansas.
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