Columbia Police Department unveils new SWAT vehicle

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Columbia Police Department unveiled its new tactical police vehicle Thursday.

The $227,000 armored personnel carrier will be used by the SWAT team to protect officers and to rescue people during high-risk operations. 

In April, the City Council approved money from the city's general fund to help purchase the truck, despite concerns from citizens that the money could be used to hire additional officers.

Officers say the old truck was more than 30 years old and spent more time in the shop than on the streets. Police say the new addition could save lives.

"It'll provide our officers with reliable police protection, something that is very critical for us," said Sgt. Lance Bolinger. "And it provides us with reliable rifle protection, something we don't have a lot of. So it allows our officers to enter into unsafe environments and provide them with the protection they need.">

The department plans to offer the vehicle to other agencies, if needed. According to the CPD, the truck will only be used in high-risk operations or when specialized capabilities are needed.

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