Marin County officials defend purchase of $370,000 armored vehicle
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013 at 4:02 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 18, 2013 at 4:02 a.m.
Marin County officials say an armored truck is a good thing to have on hand in a world so volatile that terrorism, mayhem and calamity can strike any neighborhood in any town or any place at any time.
But a county decision this week to buy a $370,000, steel-plated, state-of-the-art response and rescue vehicle from a Massachusetts defense contractor has triggered a firestorm of protest.
Critics are blasting the move by Sheriff Robert Doyle and the county Board of Supervisors, contending the BearCat G3 rescue truck from Lenco Armored Vehicles is a ridiculous waste of money.
The BearCat, which can withstand explosive blasts and .50 caliber gunfire, is "used by SWAT and special-ops teams at high-security facilities" and is just what the county's Special Response Team needs in order to handle "incidents that are beyond the capability of first responders," Sheriff Doyle advised supervisors. The sheriff said the 16-member special response team includes a four-member "weapons of mass destruction unit" to deal with "chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive agents." The team is trained in "terrorism response scenarios" and is designed as "a regional asset in the North Bay."
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