Garfield County eyes armored vehicle
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is looking to purchase an armored vehicle for high-risk, dangerous situations such as pulling an injured person out of a line of fire.
Sheriff Lou Vallario and Undersheriff Colt Cornelius spoke before the Garfield County commissioners on Monday to explain their planned purchase of a new Lenco Industries BearCat, which is the only law enforcement rescue vehicle that offers .50-caliber protection to its occupants.
The sheriff ‘s office wants to purchase the $236,000 vehicle for its Garfield County All Hazards Response Team, which is currently comprises 17 members.
“We know when we are called we are going to respond to things a little more dangerous,” Cornelius said. “The vehicle gives us a lot more protection.”
Those situations can include serving high-risk arrest warrants and facing various threat scenarios such as open gunfire.
“The (BearCat) can drive into the line of fire,” Cornelius said.
The BearCat is built on a Ford F-550 Super Duty commercial chassis, and is designed to carry 10 officers comfortably. It can hold more officers during rescue operations and situations where “we need to pile in,” Cornelius wrote in a memo to commissioners.
“Considering the inherent danger of our operations, I see this as a great resource geared toward protecting both the team members and citizens of Garfield County,” Cornelius wrote.
Vallario said money for the vehicle is already available in his capital budget for the year, with additional funds for the project coming from the sheriff’s office forfeiture fund.
“The funds are there,” Vallario said. “We are not asking for additional funds.”
However, any movement of funds within the sheriff’s office for the purchase of the BearCat will have to be approved by the county commissioners. Sheriff ‘s office personnel will appear again before the commissioners on Monday to request the supplementary budget change for the new vehicle.