The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department has received approval to receive a new police armored vehicle. The county board approved the request with a unanimous vote. They will receive a federal grant of $225,000 and will sell the current Bearcat they use to cover the rest.
"In a shooting situation, they can use that vehicle to move in and cover to remove shooting victims," County Board member Larry Smith explained.
The heavy duty trucks can be used as safe transportation for officers to an active scene, or victims away from one.
While the looks of many of the armored police vehicles can be intimidating, officers say the Bearcats are not equipped with any weaponry and are basically a big shield.
Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson says not every police agency needs their own, but it is valuable for different departments to have access to resources like the Bearcat. This new one will be housed in Winnebago County, but will serve a total of 17 counties.
Resources like these came into play many times just within the last year, like during a police standoff at Eagle Nation Cycles in Neenah and a shooting at the Trestle Trail.
The County Board expects the Bearcat will arrive by summertime.