SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS — Members of the town of Hamburg Police Department are pictured in front of the new SWAT vehicle. Photos by Alicia Greco.
HAMBURG — Feb. 7 marked a milestone for the town of Hamburg Police Department, specifically the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, as the department presented a SWAT vehicle that it recently acquired, through the federal government’s 1033 Program.
Replacing the 2004 vehicle, the 2008 Navistar Defense MAXXPRO MRAP is a SWAT truck that, according to police, will withstand just about anything. SWAT Commander Capt. Peter Dienes said this new addition to the local department is an armored vehicle that can fit 12 officers “comfortably,” and will be used, if necessary, in certain emergency situations.
According to the police department, the following are possible situations in which the SWAT team may be called upon: high-risk search warrants for drugs, high-risk arrest warrants for drug dealers, suicidal persons, barricaded subjects (who may be armed and dangerous), response in federal high-risk warrant service and assistance with people being held hostage.
The vehicle may be used in any of those high-risk situations, but will be available for even weather conditions such as the recent polar vortex, as the vehicle has the ability to maneuver through flooding, the department added.
Lt. Jim Koch, Chief Michael Williams and Town Supervisor Steven Walters joined those in attendance at the unveiling of the new vehicle. “It’s always better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it,” Dienes said, adding that the next closest vehicle similar in nature is located in Watertown.
TOUGH AS NAILS — Pictured is the town of Hamburg Police Department’s newly obtained 2008 Navistar Defense MAXXPRO MRAP.
The SWAT truck is worth $650,000, but the department confirmed, during the press conference, that the vehicle was obtained at minimal cost to town of Hamburg taxpayers.
Local business donated to the effort, providing a paint job from Towne Chrysler Jeep©, installations from 10-75 Emergency Lighting LLC, seat covers from ATM Restyle and lettering by X-press Signs.
“Thank you for protecting our community, but also protecting taxpayers,” Walters said.
The police department noted that this vehicle will be primarily used “as a transport and rescue vehicle; however, there may be other situations that arise which could utilize the capabilities of this multi-purpose vehicle.”
“We’re prepared. Hopefully we never have to use it,” Dienes said.
PROTECTED — Pictured is the backside and entrance of the new SWAT vehicle. It will be used if instances arise, in the Western New York area.
The town of Hamburg Police Department is located at 6100 S. Park Ave. in Hamburg.