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News From 91.3 KUWS
MRAP police armored car now in Superior
The Superior Police Department received a new vehicle this week, a big armored bad boy called the MRAP, short for “Mine Resistant Ambush Protected” vehicle. Brad Phenow took a ride.
[Well, shall we fire er’ up…Engine Revving]
The police department received the vehicle through a program that lets law enforcement agencies get their hands on equipment that the military no longer needs. A sticker on the six-wheel, 47,000 pound vehicle reads “Kuwait”. Sergeant Tom Champaigne says they hope to never have to use it, but it’s good to know they have it.
“If we have a major incident, an active shooting going on at one of the schools, or a hospital or what have you. This will be right here and be able to be a good bulletproof option for us to have.”
Champaigne says the MRAP cost the department a fraction of the military price.
“The military’s acquisition price was $733,000. Our cost getting it was shipping; we shipped it out of Sealy, TX at cost of about $4,500.”
Champaigne is the only current officer who knows how to run the MRAP but he says training is set for next week.
“All of our tactical guys will know how to drive it. But there will be probably two that will be our main drivers. But any of the tactical guys will be able to get in it, fire it up, and know how to get from point A to point B with it.”
Through the program an additional 21 vehicles like the MRAP are coming to or are already in Wisconsin. He says people may see it as excessive but it’s not going to be used that way.
“If you look at it, it could be intimidating and that’s not the intent. The intent is if something really bad happens, ‘how can I get to those kids or those people without officers getting killed getting there?’ or them getting killed while they’re sitting there wounded, ‘how can we get to them?’”
He says the MRAP needs a little work to make it a law enforcement vehicle, but they don’t plan on putting much into it. He says the engine looks brand new and the odometer only reads 6200 miles. But Champaigne says one thing they need to look at is the transition to colder weather.
“They were made for the hot desert, they’re some things were going to have to do to make it acclimated to Northern Wisconsin.”
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