FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Police in Fort Pierce are now armed with a U.S. military surplus battle wagon: a six wheel, 30-ton armored vehicle worth $700,000 — that the agency got for $2,000.
“If you see my SWAT team roll up in this, it’s over, so just give up,” said Police Chief Sam Baldwin.
However Baldwin hopes the mine-resistant, ambush protection vehicle just stays parked. If used, it would be for transporting the SWAT team and for a mobile command and rescue vehicle.
Officer Keith Holmes got the vehicle in October through the auspices of the National Defense Authorization Act. That allows the military to transfer excess military vehicles to law enforcement agencies. The city got a little-used model with 5,000 miles on it.
The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office helped in getting the vehicle painted for free, so the sides say “Police” and "Fort Pierce."
It is the city’s second SWAT vehicle. In 2009 the city got, for free, a van equipped with a ramp on the roof for getting into second- and third-story buildings.