HAMBURG, NY - Hamburg Police have a new crime fighting tool: a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle - or MRAP.
The enormous vehicle normally comes with a hefty price tag of around $650,000, but the department got the armored truck for free from a government surplus program.
It's one of 150 similar vehicles that was saved from being scrapped and handed out to police agencies across the country.
The vehicle was outfitted for war and had to be modified to make it more practical for officers. More seats were added to the back. A gun turret was removed. It was painted black and outfitted with police lights and sirens. Several Western New York companies donated the materials and labor.
The MRAP will be the department's primary SWAT vehicle. It replaces a 10-year-old modified Brinks armored car that the department had been using.
The new SWAT vehicle is resistant to high caliber rounds, unlike the old truck which could only withstand handguns.
Hamburg's MRAP will be shared with other departments that are part of the Erie County Tactical Task Force.