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Linn County Front Page News

Posted on: August 15, 2019

Sheriff's Office Acquires New BearCat Armored Rescue Vehicle

Bear Cat Armored rescue Vehicle

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office recently took delivery of a BearCat® G2 armored rescue vehicle. The BearCat was purchased from Lenco Armored Vehicles, Pittsfield, MA.

Lenco is considered the most experienced and well-respected producer of tactical armored response and rescue vehicles in North America. With over 35 years of experience, Lenco is the primary contractor and trusted supplier to law enforcement worldwide. The BearCat is currently in use at hundreds of Law Enforcement agencies around the USA.

The BearCat is a diesel powered, 4-wheel drive, 10-passenger, armored rescue vehicle, built to provide blast and ballistic protection to defeat .50 Cal BMG (Browning Machine Gun) ammunition rounds. Unlike military armored vehicles, the BearCat is built on a commercial Ford F-550 truck chassis as a platform and is readily serviceable by Sheriff’s Office mechanics and local Ford dealers. Additionally, unlike military vehicles, the BearCat is not equipped with any weaponry. 

The BearCat protects first responders and allows them to safely approach potentially deadly situations under the cover of an armored rescue vehicle. The armor allows us to rescue wounded citizens and first responders, and to evacuate citizens from life-threatening situations, such as barricaded suspect and active shooter scenarios.

The Sheriff’s Office tactical team recently participated in a 3-day training session in which internationally recognized training experts provided them hands-on training in the proper operation and utilization of the BearCat. This training allowed deputies to become more confident in the capabilities of the vehicle.  

The BearCat is equipped with a roof-mounted nozzle that is hooked directly to a main water line or fire engine for continuous water flow, to enable it to be utilized for fire suppression activities when fire fighters are prohibited from safely accessing a fire scene and tactical deployment is necessary.

The BearCat will be deployed anytime there is a potential for armed-subject encounters, such as active shooter situations, barricaded armed subjects, tactical situations, high-risk search warrant executions, and at the request of fire departments. 

Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner advises, “The public is used to seeing law enforcement personnel wearing ballistic body armor on a daily basis and carrying ballistic shields during tactical situations. The BearCat is merely an extension of that armor; it provides complete protection that surrounds its occupants. Having that protection provides increased safety for first responders and enhances our response capabilities.” 

Asset forfeiture money from illegal criminal activity was used to purchase the $297,061 vehicle.

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