BASTROP COUNTY, Texas -- The Bastrop County Sheriff’s office is now using a new armored vehicle to help fight crime, and it could be one of largest of its kind in central Texas.
It’s called a MRAP, which stands for mine resistant ambush protection. Fort Hood soldiers used it in Iraq. It can withstand an IED blast and its tires are nearly bullet proof.
Lt. Joey Dzenowski with the sheriff’s office said the military paid more than $500,000 for it in 2007. The sheriff’s office got it for a free as part of a military surplus program law enforcement agencies are taking advantage of across the country.
While the military equipped it with high-powered weapons across seas, Dzenowski said the vehicle is now de-militarized.
"There are no plans in the future to put a 50 caliber machine gun or anything of that nature on the vehicle,” said Dzienowski.
It’s purpose is to get law enforcement closer to dangerous situations than it could before, and as fast as it can. Despite its size, it can reach up to 75 miles per hour.
"It's armored protection for the officers. If we have a situation when the officers need to approach a residence, it can do it where before they were not able to," said Dzienowski.
The county has owned it for about three months and has only filled it with fuel twice.
Soldiers from Ft. Hood plan to teach deputies how to drive it at no cost to Bastrop County taxpayers.