Walla Walla's new MRAP, as the $733,000 vehicle is known, was given to the city by the Department of Defense, and cost $6,900 to transport from Texas.
Walla Walla SWAT team members will travel in military style and security with the addition of a mine-resistant, ambush-protected armored vehicle to the Walla Walla Police Department.
The MRAP, as the $733,000 vehicle is known, was given to Walla Walla by the Department of Defense, and cost $6,900 to transport from Texas.
Walla Walla Police Chief Scott Bieber said the vehicle will provide much more security for SWAT team members than the 1970s era V-150 Commando the unit currently uses.
Because of its superior armor plating, the MRAP will allow SWAT to get much closer to potentially dangerous situations, and provide better cover once in place, he said.
“We can be in position in no time at all,” Bieber said.
The MRAP will likely be retrofitted with different seating and be repainted, according to Bieber. Lights will also be installed as part of the change from military to law enforcement applications.
Despite planned changes, the vehicle is ready to use now.
“They could roll it out as is and use it,” Bieber said, adding that one of the SWAT officers has already had training from the National Guard on how to operate the vehicle.
Luke Hegdal can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8326.