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MRAP still a bargain, Undersheriff says

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Jefferson County’s new armored vehicle is still a bargain, according to Undersheriff Paul W. Trudeau.

The Sheriff’s Department acquired a 2008 International MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle in September through a Department of Defense program that distributes excess government property to law enforcement agencies free of charge. The Jefferson County Board of Legislators approved its use by the department in an 8-6 vote in October.

Other sheriff’s departments in the state have acquired similar vehicles, according to the Albany Times-Union.

Despite a report that the Warren County Sheriff’s Department has proposed modifications to its MRAP at an estimated cost of $70,000, Mr. Trudeau said his department has no plans to modify its vehicle.

“What you see is what you get. We’re not doing a major overhaul,” Mr. Trudeau said.

Some legislators objected to the vehicle on the premise that it would be expensive to maintain but Mr. Trudeau said that costs have been minimal.

The vehicle has had its gun turret removed and been painted black to match the rest of the department’s vehicles. Emergency lights have been added using equipment already owned by the department.

“The lights we have here. We’re not changing the inside in any way, shape or form,” Mr. Trudeau said.

Annual maintenance costs were estimated to be $500 a year by County Highway Superintendent James L. Lawrence Jr.

The vehicle will be used by the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team to approach buildings in which suspects had barricaded themselves or taken hostages, according to department personnel.

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