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LPD Ballistic Armored Vehicle (and Price Tag) Unveiled

LPD ARMORED VEHICLE.jpg

There's been a lot of talk about the Lewiston Police Department's new ballistic armored vehicle, and not all of it good.

The ex-military vehicle was acquired by the department in October 2016, and just got a law enforcement facelift.

They unveiled the new addition on Monday outside city hall.

From painting and decal work, it took 105 hours of labor to turn the mine-resistant rig into an armored SWAT vehicle. All the work was done by city crews, and the inside is full of refurbished items like old bus seats.

The vehicle itself was acquired through a federal program and the police department only paid $2,000 for shipping from California. In total, the vehicle has a price tag of just over $22,000.

Chief Chris Ankeny says this was one of the needs he saw for the regional SWAT team, which he describes as being in "dire need" when he started.

Chief Ankeny says, "We had a SWAT team that didn't have ballistic helmets, had very old, antiquated rifles, didn't have armor. My first year and a half, two years was utilizing funds that we had available as well as our asset forfeiture funds, to get our SWAT team up to being fully equipped to be able to handle their missions."

That $22,000 cost was funded through drug seizure money and not taxpayer money.

The vehicle will be used mostly in high-risk drug seizures and arrests to protect officers in case suspects are armed.

Chief Ankeny says they can also use it in active shooter situations, counter-terrorism, and during flooding. And because Lewiston Police has a mutual aid agreement with other agencies in the area, the vehicle could be utilized in cases across the region.

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