Preston Police Chief Ken Geddes - armored vehicle

Preston Police Chief Ken Geddes stands beside the Mine Resistance Ambush Protected Personnel Carrier the department acquired from the U.S. Army. (Submitted photo)

    PRESTON — The Preston Police Department acquired a Mine Resistance Ambush Protected Personnel Carrier (MRAP) from the United States Army within the past week. The military has chosen to make equipment available to law enforcement agencies to increase domestic security in our country.

    MRAP’s are armored fighting vehicles are designed for the purpose of surviving attacks and ambushes, including mines explosions.

    Preston Police department applied for the vehicle in early spring of this year. The Preston City Council considered the proposal and possible benefits to our city and the surrounding communities and approved the acquisition. The vehicle comes at no cost to Preston City. It is a 2007 model with very low mileage.

    “What are we going to do with that?” is a lot of people’s first comment. Others might say, “Are things that bad in Preston that we need that?” I hope not, too. It is not manufactured with our needs in mind, but I am so grateful to have it to protect our officers and people in our area. The military is dispersing equipment while it is still functional rather than putting it in mothballs and never to be used again.

    Preparing for and increasing our capabilities doesn’t make bad things happen.

    The taxpayers already paid for the vehicle. We did not have to buy it again. Times have changed. Too many communities have had to say, “I didn’t think that would happen here.”

    This MRAP will be made available, too, for use not only here in Preston, but in neighboring counties, as well as the Logan and Cache county area. It will be an asset to the regional SWAT teams that serves our community.

    In any situation where there is a threat of gun violence this vehicle may be used. Our department has officers that have been trained and have personally used these armored vehicles in real world operations overseas. They feel this vehicle will be an asset in our area just as it was in combat situations.

    We are very thankful for this added resource this MRAP brings. It increases officer and public’s safety as we arrive at a high threat incident. Officers will still have to get out of the vehicle into danger to manage the threat. The vehicle is expected to be used as a response vehicle for special teams. It can be used for rescue and evacuation of public from threatening environments. I appreciate our government and our military for the security they give us and for their help to increase our strength here in our schools and at home.