The police department in St. Cloud, Minnesota is excited to have a new means of transportation: a menacing, jet-black tank.
The tank will be the official method of transportation for the department’s SWAT team, which was accustomed to driving an old ambulance on “high-risk” missions, according to the St. Cloud Times.
But thanks to Minnesota’s Homeland Security office, the city was able to upgrade to a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP. The tank is worth $400,000, but St. Cloud only paid a $3,000 transportation fee.
“We got to acquire a very expensive piece of equipment that has everything to do with our ability to do our job in a safe effective way,” said St. Cloud Police Lt. Jeff Oxton in reference to the armored car, which is designed for battlefield combat operations.
The SWAT team will use the tank–which is built to endure grenade explosions–when executing search warrants or responding to disturbances that may involve knives or firearms.
Local police are increasingly utilizing military-style vehicles and equipment–in large part thanks to federal government programs. The federal Department of Homeland Security gives billions of dollars to local law enforcement units for the purposes of procuring armored cars and other army gear.
The Minnesota government doled out $3.5 million worth of military equipment to local cops in the last two months.