EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSNEW ARMORED VEHICLE
from Eyewitness News Online
Kanawha County Sheriff's Office Defends Plans To Purchase New Armored Vehicle
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Feb. 8, 2013 12:26 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 8, 2013 9:27 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office is defending its decision to purchase a $240,000 armored vehicle.
Media outlets reported that the Kanawha County Commission gave the green light Thursday for the sheriff’s office to make the purchase to replace an aging armored vehicle that has repair problems.
Capt. Sean Crosier defended the purchase Friday in a news release.
“The truck is a safety mechanism for all police officers and citizens throughout West Virginia,” Crosier said. “The Lenco Bearcat will be available to any police agency in the state that needs assistance.”
Crosier said there have been five officer-involved shootings in two years in Kanawha County. “Thank goodness we have been on the right side. Bad guys have bigger guns, and the world is becoming more violent at an alarming rate,” he said. “Any person responding to that violence wants and deserves the best protection available.”
In 25 years, Crosier said, he has been shot at six times, and it was “no fun having bullets whizzing by my head. We want to go home to our families after our shift. Our families want us to come home. We want to be able to save that child hostage and still go home alive to our families.”
Crosier acknowledged that the vehicle does cost a lot of money, but he added that safety equipment is not cheap. “It cannot be compared to the cost of human life, especially those who put their lives on the line to save others,” Crosier said. “If we are killed trying to save someone, then we are not going to be much help.
“People that have families in law enforcement and/or need the police to rescue one of their family members know that this is money well spent. We became police officers to help citizens, not get killed doing so.”
Even though the sheriff’s office will be purchasing the new vehicle, Crosier said, the office hopes it will never have to use the full capability of the new truck. But he said it would probably only be a matter of time before “any of our already close calls become closer.”
“It would be nice if we all lived in a dream world without violence, but in police work, we respond to some level of violence every single day,” Crosier said. “From a rescuer and citizen standpoint, it is difficult to think of other ways to better spend this money.”
* Accompanying this story is a photo of a Lenco Bearcat, but the vehicle shown is not the actual one the office is purchasing.
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