Monday, December 04, 2006

Calhoun Co. gets a TANK!

Calhoun Sheriff's Office gets second armored vehicle
By Andy Johns
Star Staff Writer

(Fred Krenshaw, left, of BAE Systems, talks with Calhoun County Sheriff's Deputy Cpl. Michael Kane about a M113 armored personnel carrier that the company is giving to the Sheriff's Office. Photo: Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)

By mid-December, the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office will be able to send an armored vehicle to a Christmas parade and a Relay for Life event at the same time.

(Why would anyone want a tank at a Christmas Parade or a Relay for Life event?)

The sheriff also will be able to transport 12 additional deputies under cover of armor into the middle of a firefight.

(When is the last time there was a firefight large enough to require the use of a tank in Calhoun Co.?)

The Sheriff's Office is receiving a used M113 armored personnel carrier from the Defense Department under the federal 1033 program, which allows donation of surplus military equipment to law enforcement agencies.

(Can you say 'militarizing the local police' and 'using military equipment on the civilian population'?)

“It's not technically a tank, but there is plenty of armor,” said Cindy Garrison, a spokeswoman for the local office of defense contractor BAE Systems, which retrofitted and repaired the vehicle.

“It gives a lot more protection,” Garrison said. “You could probably roll right over a house with this.”

(BOY! That makes me feel safe. Who wants to bet that the first house rolled over will be that of an accused pot smoker or some other non-violent drug offender?)

Once the vehicle is officially presented to the Sheriff's Office around Dec. 15, it will be available for any agency in the county to use, Amerson said. In some instances, he said, he could see lending the vehicle out to other agencies in east Alabama.

(Oh Goody! That's just what we need!)

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