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Salinas SWAT team gets free ARV for Christmas

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The Salinas, CA police department received an early Christmas present last week in the form of a nearly 18 ton armored truck courtesy of the federal government’s 1033 program which relocates government equipment to law enforcement agencies throughout the US. The, truck once used by the army for training exercises, was never deployed overseas and had only 7,600 miles on it.

While the ARV cost the fed $658,000 to make and outfit, Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin said that his department got it for free. However, he did admit that the town was charged $1,350 to transport it from Washington State to Salinas, andwhile the price tag for painting it, adding decals, and other equipment came to a total of $10,800, $8,000 of the money was funded by the Office of Emergency Services.

“We’ve desperately needed to replace the old 1986 Ford armored (bank) truck that carries officers to rescues for a long time due to its poor condition, including the need for constant mechanical repairs and leaky roof,” commented McMillin, who added that “due to its low ballistic rating, the old truck never really provided officers with adequate protection.”

That, however, is no longer a problem. The ARV, which can carry 8-10 members of the Swat team, is fully equipped to handle all sorts of high risk situations, including “ the capability to rescue wounded or downed officers and civilians from positions officers may not otherwise safely approach. It can help protect community members forced to evacuate their homes,” stated police, who noted that just this past summer .the Salinas police were required to serve a search warrant to a residence where they found a bomb with a timer.

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