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Special response team adds 'new' rig

POLK COUNTY — The Polk County Interagency Special Response Team has upgraded its 1970s model armored bank truck to a 2008 Freightliner Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected Vehicle.

February 04, 2014

POLK COUNTY — The Polk County Interagency Special Response Team has upgraded its 1970s model armored bank truck to a 2008 Freightliner Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected Vehicle.

"The old armored truck is not fully armored and has been plagued for some time with mechanical issues," said Detective Sgt. Mark Garton, Polk Interagency Narcotics Team supervisor.

The truck was the SRT's only tactical vehicle, and was getting to the point where it was unsafe to drive, he added.

"Costs to keep it in a safe running condition (were) becoming overwhelming for agencies that don't have money to go and purchase a new armored vehicle," Garton said.

The new vehicle, awarded to the Polk County Sheriff's Office from the U.S. Army after a two-year waiting period, can be repaired by employees of the Polk County Public Works Department, Garton said.

Some alterations have already been done to the vehicle, including removing the gun turret from the top and other changes to make it feel more like a law enforcement vehicle versus an Army one, he said.

The vehicle will be used in several ways, including search and rescue or during natural disasters, Garton said.

"Due to the height and weight of the MRAP, it would be useful during flooding or other natural disaster events for reaching areas that normal … patrol cars or trucks can't reach," he said.

Overall, Garton said a comparison between the old SRT vehicle and the new one can’t be made.

"The MRAP is reliable and safer for the SRT team," he said. "Most of all, it was free."