The Bannock County Sheriff's Office is preparing to get a new armored vehicle to keep up with the higher-caliber weapons that are becoming more available to the commercial market. And, while some may have concerns with this type of purchase, Sheriff Lorin Nielsen says the bottom line is the new vehicle will save lives.
Bannock County currently owns and operates an armored vehicle, however, Sheriff Lorin Nielsen says it does not have the same capabilities as the new one they hope to purchase.
"It looks pretty ominous but it does have a ballistic range that several of the new weapons that are out there can penetrate. It's more for small gunfire and not for some of the rifles and stuff that we have in the area around here, but we have used that for about five or six years," says Sheriff Nielsen.
Bannock County sees a necessity for an upgraded armored vehicle.
"It can come in because it will handle the ballistics of just about any weapon that is commercially made and we can pull up and do hostage rescues, we can maneuver and come right up close to a place instead of having to park because they will be protected."
There has been some controversy about the usage and the cost of a new armored vehicle. Sheriff Nielsen says seven different counties will be using it and it will cost less than a firetruck.
"Unfortunately when you look around at all of the counties combined with Bingham and Power and all the other counties combined to the shootings in Oneida County, you combine all those together, this vehicle will be used, this vehicle will save lives and that's worth the investment to us."