PLAINVIEW, TX (KCBD) - The Plainview Police Department has been showing off their new SWAT vehicle, a military vehicle that has a price tag of about $700,000 brand new.
So how was the police department able to get the vehicle and fix it up for no cost to the taxpayer?
"Through the benefit of this program, our officers can have a level of safety that was previously unavailable to us," said Plainview Police Chief Ken Coughlin.
The program is called LESO, or Law Enforcement Support Office. The Department of Defense loans used military vehicles which might otherwise be destroyed to law enforcement agencies across the country.
"Paint, the equipment, some of the metal work, were all done by my guys," said Dion Guerra, Captain of Field Services and SWAT Commander. "Just saves the city some money."
Those expenses aren't cheap, though. Luckily, the Plainview Police Department had support from some very generous donors.
"The vehicle was transported here, and the repairs and the things that we did as far as painting and getting it up to speed, were all done with drug-seized funds. So we used basically proceeds that we've taken away from drug dealers in our community and utilized those funds. So there's no taxpayer expense at all to this vehicle up to this date," Coughlin told KCBD.
PPD says they plan to use this SWAT vehicle for the next 20 to 30 years. Not only will it serve SWAT operations, but it will come in handy in the event of any future natural disasters.
Guerra talked about the vehicle helping community relations, too.
"The kids love it. They love running in and jumping in and out of it and looking at the lights. Even the adults like it, too. We've got a lot of comments on it so it's going to be a good tool for us."