Volusia County sheriff to add 4th armored car – Daytona Beach News-Journal

Volusia County sheriff to add 4th armored car – Daytona Beach News-Journal


The county sheriff wants a new BearCat, seen here in a promotional image on the company's website. The Volusia County Council approved the request after some debate over whether or not the vehicle was needed when the department already has three other armored personnel carriers.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is getting a new BearCat.

What’s a BearCat?

It’s a rural, off-road, armored and tactical personnel carrier made by manufacturer Lenco Armored Vehicles that’s expected cost the county approximately $340,000 and will be the fourth armored carrier in the public safety department’s fleet.

The County Council unanimously approved the purchase request from Sheriff Mike Chitwood’s office, but not without the former sheriff and the current sheriff going back and forth on whether the department really needed a fourth armored car.

More:After war of words, Volusia Sheriff Chitwood ‘grateful’ for budget approval

The item was on Tuesday’s council consent agenda – the part of the county business meeting where items typically sail through without much, if any, discussion. But not this time.

Former four-term sheriff and current Councilman Ben Johnson wanted to talk about the funding request.

“The BearCat is a fantastic piece of equipment and every law enforcement agency needs to have one,” said Johnson. “When I was sheriff, I greatly wanted one but we never could afford it. Since that time, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department has acquired a BearCat.”

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