A Hummer transport vehicle has been added to Routt County’s fleet to help the SWAT team with its tactical operations.
“The price was right,” Sheriff Garrett Wiggins said. “It was free. All we had to do was go down and get it.”
The Hummer is essentially being loaned indefinitely to the county by the U.S. military, which is replacing its Hummer fleet with vehicles that are armored. There are hundreds of them being made available to law enforcement agencies across the country. Routt County’s 1996 Hummer has about 6,000 miles on it and was picked up from the Front Range.
“It runs good,” Wiggins said.
Some minor work needs to be done and some stickers will be applied to mark it as a Sheriff’s Office vehicle. A military trailer will be refurbished to carry equipment.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners last week approved $250 in the budget to cover maintenance and fuel costs. Routt County Commissioners Diane Mitsch Bush and Doug Monger said this week that it made sense to take the Hummer because it can carry as many as eight SWAT team members wearing their tactical gear.
Wiggins said the SWAT team used to rely on regular patrol cars when involved in operations, and the tactical gear is bulky.
“It’s almost impossible for them to drive their vehicles,” Wiggins said.
The Steamboat Springs Police Department has an old green ambulance that it uses for SWAT operations. Along with the Hummer, Wiggins said the SWAT team should now be able to transport the 16 members of the joint-tactical team.
There might be other uses for the Hummer, as well.
Wiggins said deputies could use it for incidents where the terrain is not appropriate for normal patrol vehicles.
“It’s kind of a multi-use vehicle,” Wiggins said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com