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Sheriff’s armored vehicle spotted in Watertown

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The heavily armored vehicle recently acquired by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department was spotted in the city of Watertown on Thursday afternoon.

Troy M. Comstock, a town of Pamelia resident, said he saw the department’s black 2008 International Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle, or MRAP, about 3 p.m. as it was turning right onto Coffeen Street from VanDuzee Street.

It apparently was being driven back to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building from the Jefferson County Highway Department compound, 21897 County Route 190.

Mr. Comstock said the vehicle was being driven by a single operator.

Alarmed by the sight, Mr. Comstock said he called the Sheriff’s Department to inquire about the sighting and was told the vehicle was on its way back from getting repairs.

Lt. Kevin M. Amann, commander of the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, said the vehicle simply was being serviced in preparation for training and duty.

The $600,000, 20-ton vehicle was provided to the county through a program that distributes excess government property to law enforcement agencies.

It was approved for the department’s use last week by the Jefferson County Board of Legislators in an 8-6 vote.

Estimates of the annual maintenance costs for the vehicle varied but were pegged at $500 a year by County Highway Superintendent James L. Lawrence Jr.

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