LPD has armored vehicle for SWAT team

Friday, February 28, 2014

By Karen Hall


The large vehicle pictured here is the Lewisburg Police Department's most recent acquisition from the military surplus program, the same place their Hummers came from.

"We're one of the first departments in the state to get one of these," said Police Chief Chuck Forbis. The department got the vehicle late last year.

He said the MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle would cost $658,000, but LPD got it for free, and did the painting themselves. It runs on diesel, and is an International® MaxxPro made by Navistar Defence.

So far, Forbis said, the police department have only used the MRAP for training.

There are chocks behind the back wheels because such a heavy vehicle could do a tremendous amount of damage if the brakes released and it rolled across the parking lot, the police chief explained.

MRAPs are armored fighting vehicles used by various armed forces, whose designed purpose is surviving improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and ambushes. The V-shaped hull deflects blasts away from the body, and the armor protects the crew against direct fire and rocket-propeled grenade rounds. The MRAP can cross streams up to 3 feet deep.

SWAT stands for Special Weapons And Tactics, and is a commonly used proper name for law enforcement units which use military-style light weapons and specialized tactics in high-risk operations that fall outside of the capabilities of regular, uniformed police. Their duties include confronting heavily armed criminals; performing hostage rescue and counter-terrorism operations; high risk arrests; and entering armored or barricaded buildings. Such units are often equipped with specialized firearms including submachine guns, assault rifles, breaching shotguns, sniper rifles, riot control agents, and stun grenades. They have specialized equipment which may include armored vehicles, heavy body armor, ballistic shields, entry tools, advanced night vision optics, and motion detectors for covertly determining the positions of hostages or hostage takers inside enclosed structures.