Maui Arts & Entertainment

5 Reasons the “Bearcat” Will Prove More Useful Than You Think

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By Vanessa Wolf

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

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

A couple weeks ago the Maui County Police Department announced the acquisition of a Lenco “Bearcat” armored vehicle.

The vehicle “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 his announcement.

B.E.A.R.C.A.T. is an acronym, standing for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck.

According to Wikipedia, “Bearcats are typically referred to by law enforcement agencies as being ‘armored rescue vehicles’ with their primary use being to transport tactical (SWAT/Special Reaction Teams) officers to and from hostile situations and to assist with the recovery and protection of civilians in harm’s way during terrorist threats, hostage incidents or encounters with armed offenders.”


The armor on a Bearcat can stop .50 caliber bullets and the vehicle can carry about 10 officers at one time.


Residents have expressed concern that the purchase is a harbinger of terrorist trouble to come or – more optimistically – may be more than Maui crime seems to require.

Additionally, many have noted that the $280,000 starting price tag might be a bit much for Maui County residents to shoulder.

Assortment of donuts from Komoda's, photo by Kristin Hashimoto

Assortment of donuts from Komoda’s. Photo by Kristin Hashimoto.

Rest assured: we’ve brainstormed some alternative uses to keep the Bearcat busy and help pay for its keep.


5 Reasons the “Bearcat” Will Prove More Useful Than You Think

5. Doubles as a garlic shrimp food truck on the weekends.

4. When the Martians get here, we’ll be covered.

3. Will be used to enforce “No Horseplay” rules at public pools.

2. Covered with flowers, pretty girls, and a dancing Taguma, should be a real show stopper at the Maui County Fair Parade.

1. Will make it much easier to do a big donut run.

Have an idea for a fun, funny or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. – Vanessa (

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