Wright County Sheriff’s Office gets ready to roll out armored vehicle

Surplus military personnel carrier is acquired for local use

PoliceLicensePlateby Tim Hennagir


The Wright County Sheriff’s Office has obtained a surplus military armored personnel carrier and is getting the heavy-duty law enforcement vehicle ready to roll.

“It’s basically a big dump truck that’s got a lot of armor on it,” said Lt. Todd Hoffman. “”We picked it up at Fort Bliss, Texas. It came back from overseas.”

The Wright County Sheriff’s Office was placed on a short list for acquiring the 2008 International Navistar MaxxPro Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle because it plays a key role in security planing for the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant in Monticello, Hoffman said.

“We’ve been working with the federal government ever since the nuclear plant has been here,” he said. “The Monticello pant, whether we like it or not, is considered a national asset. We have different types of plans for security, and there are different types of contingencies we have to be able to address. This vehicle fit nicely into our plan.”

The Military Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) operates a program called the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), Hoffman said. The LESO program assists local law enforcement offices across the country in acquiring surplus military supplies and equipment for no or little cost.

Recently, Minnesota’s LESO coordinator contacted the sheriff’s office regarding an opportunity to acquire the armored personnel carrier.

“Due to the military drawing down its forces in Iraq and Afghanistan they are reducing their fleet of MRAP’s,” Hoffman said. “These surplus fully armored vehicles are now being given to local law enforcement agencies at no cost. The sticker price on a brand-new vehicle is $658,000.”

Wright County’s armored vehicle arrived Sept. 23 with 13,000 miles on it, he said.

The Wright County Highway Department is currently working on the armored vehicle and giving it a thorough tune-up. Once operational, the vehicle will be used by the sheriff’s office and its emergency response team as part of its security plan for the nuclear plant. The vehicle will be used at other incidents if needed.

The St. Cloud Police Department recently unveiled its armored personnel carrier. Sheriff’s departments in Dakota, Pine, Sherburne, St. Louis and Olmsted counties received similar vehicles.

“There are two different types of vehicles,” Hoffman said. “The St. Cloud Police Department decided to keep the gun turret. We decided to take that off as well as some of the armor. Basically, it’s a transport built on an International dump truck frame. It doesn’t have any gun ports.”

Contact Tim Hennagir at [email protected]