Ada police acquire department's first armored vehicle through government program
Ada police recently acquired an M-ATV through a special program at a fraction of its original cost.
The M-ATV is a form of land mine-resistant vehicle used by the U.S. Military. The M-ATV replaced the Humvee in 2009 as a safer mode of transportation.
The vehicle is about 9 and a half feet tall and weighs more than 28,000 pounds.
Capt. Jason Potter said the sticker price on this vehicle was about $800,000.
However, the vehicle only cost the department $2,500 through a government program known as the Law Enforcement Support Program, which offers military surplus equipment and a extremely discounted price.
Ada PD said the cost was covered by donations from area businesses and residents and there was no expense to tax payers.
"Hopefully, we never have to use this machine for anything other than training," Potter said. "It's always been one of my philosophies is: it's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."
Police said the vehicle will be used in situations where a suspect is armed, such as high risk search warrants and hostage situations as well as natural disasters and high water rescues.
“We could load fire EMS in the back of this and go in and start rescuing people while other officers are there taking care of business and the actual problem," Potter said.
The vehicle will also make public appearances at community events.
Police said some locals have expressed concern that the vehicle is not necessary.
However, Ada resident Myke Romero said he is glad police are able to use it.
"I know it sounds militaristic but you got to have these things nowadays," Romero said. "Open up your newspaper, look at your TV news headlines, look at what happened in El Paso, Dayton, Ohio. That's just this month."
Capt. Jason Mosley said the department has only had the vehicle for about two weeks but plans on giving it a new paint job, police logos as well as lights and sirens.
"Our ultimate goal is for, not only law enforcement, fire and EMS but also citizens that are involved, to all be able to go home safely that night," Mosley said. "If this machine can help us get there, it's worth every penny."
Ada police said the next step is to train officers and other emergency personnel to use the vehicle.