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$250k bulletproof police vehicle

BEAUMONT- by Ashley Gaston - An intimidating piece of equipment can now help keep the Beaumont SWAT team safe as they drive into a hostile situation.

It's a $250,000 armored vehicle.

Officers told Six News Anchor Ashley Gaston how the new tool builds confidence and keeps the community safe.

It's bullet proof, fire retardant and weighs 20,000 pounds.

"You take a round your going to actually flinch, but your safe in here," said Nick Thompson.

Beaumont swat team officer Nick Thompson is the protector of this armored vehicle.

"It allows us to go in as a team," said Thompson.

Thompson will drive 10 SWAT Officers into a high risk situation.

"Weather its a barricaded object, an officer down or a victim that's down," said Thompson.

The armored vehicle is the newest tool to help the Beaumont SWAT Team fight crime.

It's a smaller version of the Port Arthur Police "BEAR."

A vehicle that helped Beaumont SWAT capture Jose Chinchilla.

"Mr Chinchilla killed two people.  He was an armed subject who had a rifle.  If we hadn't had that vehicle from Port Arthur it would have been extremely dangerous for Officers to approach that situation," said Sgt. Rob Flores.

Sgt. Rob Flores negotiated with Chinchilla to surrender in June of this year.

"It was resolved quickly because that man knew we had the tools to get the job done," said Flores.

A tool SWAT members say helped keep the community safe, but one that's only as good as the Officers who make it work.

"We're the hidden tool, there is a pride and honor in being a part of this team," said Thompson.

A team that now includes a ten ton, hulking piece of high tech equipment for officers who drive into danger.

A grant from Homeland Security paid for three quarters of the armored vehicle.

The City of Beaumont paid for the rest.$250k bulletproof police vehicle

Wednesday, January 30 2013, 03:08 PM CST
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