Tulare police have a new crime fighting tool; a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle also known as a MRAP.
It stands 12 feet tall, 25 feet long, and weighs 45,000 pounds. It was previously found in a war zone.
“We do understand that it did serve time in the Middle East,” said Lt. Jerod Boatman of the Tulare Police Department.
But the MRAP is now the marquee tool in SWAT situations.
The 2012, de-commissioned, armored vehicle was free thanks to a government program giving older military equipment to state and local law enforcement.
“The original price tag on it was $733,000. We obtained it for zero cost,” Lt. Boatman said.
But the city needed to invest $35,000 to make it operational.
“This vehicle affords us a certain amount of safety for our officers and members of the community that you can’t get otherwise,” Lt. Boatman said.
And they’ve already used it. This week, a homicide suspect who shot a man at a Tulare softball tournament was tracked down in Shafter.
“I’m proud to say that within less than 10 to 15 seconds the suspect came out and surrendered peacefully while the officers stood behind the armor of this vehicle and gave him commands until he was put in handcuffs,” Lt. Boatman explained.
Tulare isn’t the only local law enforcement agency to have one of these military vehicles. Clovis PD received their armored vehicle back in 2013.
It’s an imposing tool, to help Tulare police and others face the most unpredictable crimes.