Eau Claire Sheriff's Department receives armored vehicle from mi - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire Sheriff's Department receives armored vehicle from military

Eau Claire (WQOW) - It's big.

"I just weighed it this morning at it's about 46,000 pounds,” said Eau Claire Sheriff Ron Cramer.

It's loud and it's expensive

"This vehicle was listed at $770,000 value,” Cramer said.

And the county got it for the price of shipping.

"We were able at $4100 dollars to have it shipped from Sealy Texas to Eau Claire Wisconsin,” said Cramer

It came a long way, from Kuwait and the new armored military transport vehicle was set to be scrapped. Instead it's the newest member of the Eau Claire County Sheriff's office.

"This is not a vehicle we would use as a primary for a swat tactical call out because of its size and weight, but it's certainly a back up vehicle for the bearcat,” said Cramer.

Since the bearcat was purchased over ten years ago it's been on an average of 24 calls per year.

"Our armored vehicle has been shot at, grenades have been thrown at it and we're concerned with the number of officer-involved shootings in Wisconsin,’ said Cramer.

Sheriff Cramer says he wants to make it clear, he calls it a defensive weapon, not an offensive addition to their arsenal.

"We didn't get this vehicle for the federal government to say hey, 'go start taking guns from people in Eau Claire County,’” Cramer said.

Even though the sheriff hopes it's never used, he says it's the kind of vehicle that could've come in handy during the recent hostage situation in Eau Claire.

"If the negotiations would have failed this would have been the perfect vehicle to get in there,” said Cramer. “Either bringing officers in or getting some of those people out of the apartments before the stuff hit the fan."

Sheriff Cramer says the new vehicle could also be used in blizzard or flooding conditions to get to people in need.

It still has to be painted and have lights and radio equipment installed but the sheriff thinks it could be ready for action in the next few months

So what do you think about the new purchase? After seeing our story you can share your thoughts on our Facebook page where a conversation is underway.

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