Do Marin law enforcement officials need tanks?
In using federal and state grant funding specifically designated for anti-terrorism projects to buy a steel-plated rescue vehicle built from a Ford F-550 commercial truck chassis, officials from the County of Marin and the Marin County Sheriff's Office say yes.
As first reported by the Marin Independent Journal, the county has purchased a BearCat G3 from Lemco, a Massachusetts defense contractor. The 16,000-pound armored tank can hold up to 10 law enforcement officers and drives 80mph.
In seeking approval for the new vehicle, Sheriff Robert Doyle told the Marin County Board of Supervisors that the county's Special Response Team needs the new vehicle to handle "incidents that are beyond the capability of first responders," according to the IJ. The sheriff said the 16-member special response team includes a four-member "weapons of mass destruction unit" to deal with "chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive agents." The team is trained in "terrorism response scenarios" and is designed as "a regional asset in the North Bay."
What do you think of this purchase? Is it justified as a regional need? Tell us in the Comments.