Sheriff's office to use armored vehicle, commissioner cites concerns

Jul 7, 2014

The Hunt County Commissioners Court may vote to approve additional funds this week for an armored personnel carrier obtained from federal surplus for the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office.

This is a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle similar to the one recently acquired by the Hunt County Sheriff's Office.
Credit NPR

The commissioners are scheduled to discuss and take action Tuesday on training and expenditures related to the newly acquired Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. The vote is included under Tuesday’s regular agenda, starting at 10 a.m. inside the Auxiliary Courtroom, 2700 Johnson Street in Greenville.

The commissioners voted June 7 to approve the transfer of $2,600 from the equipment line item of the Federal Forfeiture Account to pay for the delivery of a 2012 Mine Resistant Vehicle, which will be used by the department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit.

The vehicle is being made available through the Department of Defense Excess Property Program, also known as the 1033 Program, which provides surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies for use in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations.

The funds approved last month were to be used to pay for delivery of the vehicle.

Commissioner Jay Atkins abstained from the vote. In a letter to the Herald-Banner, Atkins said that prior to established policy, the vehicle had already been obtained by the sheriff’s office prior to the commissioners considering the issue. Atkins also noted the MRAP is top heavy and prone to roll over if not kept on flat level hard surfaces, that many of the bridges and almost none of the county roads can handle the weight or the turning radius of the MRAP and said he believed the MRAP could be more harmful to the personnel it is meant to protect.