(CBS) — Northwest Indiana’s swat team found its new armored transport on the army’s used car lot and like, a TV infomercial, all they had to pay was the shipping.
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakey went along for a ride in this original report.
The vehicle weighs 55,000 pounds, with armor and windows an inch and half thick and neither bullets nor bombs can stop it.
The Pentagon paid $400,000 to build it, but northwest Indiana’s swat team bought it for just a buck.
If you saw the Oscar-winning movie The Hurt Locker, you know the mine-resistant, ambush protected trucks, MRAPs for short, were built to save U.S. soldiers from roadside bombs.
“They owe their lives to this vehicle and vehicles like this,” said Northwest Regional Swat Team Sergeant Robert Morgan.
But with Iraq over and Afghanistan winding down, the U.S. Army is giving away 13,000 MRAPS to law enforcement. The alternative is simply junking them.
“It would be cut up and scrapped out and pieced off to something else, that just made no sense to us,” Northwest Regional Swat Team Sergeant Robert Wiley.
The interior can transport 12 swat team members or rescuees in complete safety and the turret can provide a platform for firing tear gas into a hostile structure.
The swap team used to travel in a van they called the “bread truck,” which offered all the protection of a tin can, but not anymore,
“We’ve not had any sort of issues with anybody firing at us yet, but I have no doubt that sitting in this cab, I am perfectly safe,” said Wiley.
The MRAP has already been used to rescue two hostages, rescue motorists stranded in snow, and Tuesday morning to serve a drug warrant. It looks threatening, but cops call it a defensive asset, not an offensive weapon.