The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office now owns a BearCat. And no, it’s not a pet.
It’s a tactical armored vehicle, a cross between a military tank and a Hummer, used by SWAT teams, the Army and hostage negotiators, and good for “just about anything,” sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Rick Sung said.
The sheriff’s office has a refurbished armored vehicle similar to the BearCat. But this vehicle, made by Lenco, is the first of its kind that was purchased through a federal Department of Homeland Security grant called the Urban Area Security Initiative.
The purchase of this newest model of the BearCat, the G3, was spearheaded by Assistant Sheriff Lindley Zink, 56, who retires next week after 32 years on the job. It cost $285,000.
In describing the vehicle to his peers, Zink wrote that he was just “speechless” about the BearCat’s capabilities including the self-contained breathing apparatus system and the ability to detect explosives and traces of radiation from inside the vehicle.
The BearCat can also withstand bullets fired from .50 caliber weapons.
Sung estimated the vehicle would be used about a dozen times a year.