Sheriff acquires military vehicles to better prepare county against storm emergencies | Paterson Times

Sheriff acquires military vehicles to better prepare county against storm emergencies


County authorities have received two mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles and three Humvees through the federal program that allows local law enforcement agencies to obtain military equipment, announced Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik,

The sheriff’s office said it has acquired the following vehicles: one M1083, one M925A2, and three high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) through the federal Law Enforcement Support Office, a division of the National Defense Logistics Agency, in conjunction with the New Jersey State Police.

Under the federal government’s reutilization program the county managed to obtain the vehicles, which combined cost roughly $326,000, at no charge. “At no cost to the local taxpayer, these new vehicles fill a void in a financially efficient manner,” Berdnik said.

The M1083 has a price tag of $128,000; the M925A2 fetches $72,000 in the market; while the three Humvees go for $42,000 each, according to the sheriff.

Berdnik said the vehicles will be used in emergencies. The sheriff citied hurricane Irene, during which the county’s main city was submerged under water for days.

“After Hurricane Irene, the department did an analysis of its’ flood rescue needs and it was determined that additional flood rescue vehicles were needed,” Berdnik said. “Over the last three years, we have been working to find the appropriate vehicles, at no expense to the already overburdened local taxpayer.”

In light of the recent deployment of similar vehicles on the suburban streets of Ferguson, Missouri to quell civil unrest, the sheriff placed a great deal of emphasis on the vehicle only to be used during emergencies.

The vehicles will be able to ford 30 inches of water, according to the sheriff’s office. “During Hurricane Irene, because of the significant flooding, the department provided assistance to several municipalities, including Pompton Lakes, Wayne, Little Falls, Totowa, West Paterson, and Paterson,” Berdnik added. “These new vehicles will increase the Sheriff’s Office’s capacity to assist residents during extreme weather conditions.”

The vehicles each weighing more than a ton will be deployed, if one of the 16 municipalities in the county request for assistance from county authorities in handling an emergency. “The vehicles will be used by the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) to assist any local municipality who requests assistance during a flood or any other natural or manmade emergency that would warrant Sheriff’s Office response,” Berdnik said.