According to State Troopers, last night’s debut of the Peninsula’s new BearCat armored vehicle ticked all the boxes. Lt. Dane Gilmore with the Soldotna post explained how the vehicle improves Trooper safety, though officers are still required to exit the vehicle to apprehend criminals…
Lt. Gilmore: “In the past, what would have had to have occurred is a Trooper from behind what would be the best cover they could find, would have to announce by yelling or bullhorn or something along that line, attempt to make contact. The communication might not necessarily be completely effective. The person, as in this case, who might be intoxicated, or somebody who might have a mental illness, might not be certain it’s the police. In this case, it’s obvious that it’s the police. We’re able to get close enough to be able to communicate effectively. It provides that ballistic protection, so that there’s not the need to use force to protect the responding law enforcement, and the presence of the vehicle often gains compliance, just by its presence.”
Lt. Gilmore said in this case, the sight of the armored vehicle encouraged the suspect to surrender. For more on that incident, read: State Troopers Use Armored Vehicle During Standoff in Homer.
You can see the BearCat in person at next week’s meeting of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce at the Soldotna Sports Center.