The Niagara County Sheriff's Office has a new tool for carrying out its duties.
It recently acquired a BearCat armored vehicle, manufactured by Massachusetts-based Lenco Armored Vehicles. It is the second BearCat the sheriff's office has, the first one being more than 10 years old.
The sheriff's office received the new vehicle in late September, costing the county around $330,000.
"We never know what we're going to come up against," said Sheriff Michael Filicetti. "I want the team to have the best safety advantage in any incident."
The BearCats are meant to carry Emergency Response Team personnel, the department's SWAT team, to high-level incidents in Niagara County. The vehicles are mainly used for executing search warrants, which it has done since its arrival, responding to calls involving people with firearms or anything with a high level of danger.
Each BearCat can hold up to 10 emergency response team personnel, with the two the sheriff's office now has able to carry the entire 20-person team.
The newer model has a built-in public address system and a ram fixed to its front for any breaching situations.
Aside from the additional capacity, the second BearCat allows emergency response team members to respond to simultaneous incidents.
Filicetti said this kind of armored vehicle is a common instance where a police department has a SWAT team, with many federal, state, and local departments across the country use them. The Buffalo and Niagara Falls Police Departments have BearCat vehicles for their teams as well.
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