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New armored vehicle to protect police

By Kaitlin Loukides
Published On: Jan 31 2014 01:50:43 PM CST

Several sheriff's offices in southeast Idaho have a new tool to help them in dangerous situations like a standoff.

POCATELLO, Idaho -

Several sheriff's offices in southeast Idaho have a new tool to help them in dangerous situations like a standoff.

On Thursday, they showed off the Bearcat for the first time.

It's a 19,000-pound armored vehicle that will provide extra protection to deputies as they try to resolve tense situations.

"We can get up close and personal with this, and hopefully this will help us mitigate that a lot better than to have to have eight or nine officers involved where we can probably have one or two," said Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen.

Nielsen said it will also help deter suspects from opening fire on impulse.

Many locals said it's about time local law enforcement had something like this.

"This community's getting so much bigger," said Sharon Wardel of Pocatello. "They're (law enforcement) going to need it and with all the other stuff that's been going on with all the shootings going on and all that, I won't be surprised when it happens here."

"I could see it being used for very, very extreme cases but it doesn't hurt, I guess," said Chad Mecham of Pocatello.

The Bearcat cost $240,000 and was paid for through fundraisers, donations and taxpayer dollars.

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