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Maui Police Acquire “Bearcat” Tactical Armored Vehicle

Posted July 2, 2013, 12:42 PM HST Updated July 2, 2013, 02:37 PM HST
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MPD Bearcat vehicle. Photo courtesy, County of Maui / Lois Whitney.

MPD Bearcat vehicle. Photo courtesy, County of Maui / Lois Whitney.

By Maui Now Staff

The Maui County Police Department announced the acquisition of a Lenco “Bearcat” armored vehicle.

The vehicle, which is considered the latest of its kind in the state, “will provide a critical element of safety during operations that would have previously put officers in harm’s way,” Police Chief Gary Yabuta noted in the announcement.

According to information released by the county, the “Bearcat” will be used by the department’s Special Response Team during high-risk operations.

The Budget and Finance Committee considered a $280,000 appropriation for the armored vehicle during the 2012 budget session. During the most recent budget session, Chief Yabuta requested other equipment for the Maui SWAT team including new tactical vests, a tactical robot, and assault rifles.

“This vehicle not only provides greater protection and tactical advantage for our officers, it makes Maui County a safer community,” said Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta in a county press release.

MPD Bearcat vehicle. Photo courtesy, County of Maui / Lois Whitney.

MPD Bearcat vehicle. Photo courtesy, County of Maui / Lois Whitney.

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According to the announcement, the vehicle provides the department with tactical capabilities, superior maneuverability, and armored protection, including the “ability to repel a .50-caliber projectile.”

Maui Mayor Alan Arakwa, who joined the police chief in announcing the acquisition said, “This vehicle will help ensure the safety of our officers and the citizens of Maui County.”

Both thanked the county council for their support in the acquisition of the vehicle.

The item was included in the chief’s report that was presented to the Maui Police Commission in December 2011.

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