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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 4:27 am | Fair and Breezy 53º


Santa Barbara Police Department Unveils Armored Vehicle

The Lenco Bearcat, valued at more than $242,000, comes courtesy of a Homeland Security grant

The Santa Barbara Police Department on Tuesday acquired an armored vehicle, courtesy of a grant provided by the Department of Homeland Security.

The donated 2010 Lenco Bearcat, valued at $242,909.95, was delivered two weeks ago, but on Tuesday was formally accepted by the City Council. No city or county funds were used in the purchase

The vehicle’s primary purpose will be to aid the police department’s SWAT and Crisis Negotiation Response Team (CNRT) with high-risk tactical situations, including hostage situations, barricaded suspects and domestic terrorism.

In addition to protecting officers and allowing the safe rescue of an injured victim, many volatile situations can be peacefully resolved when police approach and communicate directly with an armed, desperate person.

The department unveiled the vehicle to the media and the public on Wednesday. The following are vehicle’s specifications:

» The Bearcat is based on a Ford F-550 Super Heavy Duty truck chassis, weighs 18,000 pounds and is fully enclosed with steel armor. It seats 10, including the driver and front passenger.

» It runs on gasoline, and can be operated by any licensed driver.

» The armor specification is classified, but the vehicle will withstand multiple hits from any available nonmilitary grade munitions.

» The vehicle offers blast protection from many explosive devices.

— Paul McCaffrey is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.

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