TPD receives tank

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 4, 2014

Messenger Photo / Scottie Brown The Troy Police Department recieved an armored personnel vehicle from Etowah County last year.

Messenger Photo / Scottie Brown
The Troy Police Department recieved an armored personnel vehicle from Etowah County last year.

Troy Police Department received an armored personnel vehicle a little over a year ago, and wanted to reassure the citizens of Troy it was only to better serve and protect the city of Troy.

The tank was received from Etowah County back in May of 2013 free of charge, said Lt. Bryan Weed with Troy PD. Weed also said the tank was procured as a piece of equipment the police department hopes they will never have to use, but would rather it was around in case of an emergency.

“It’s like insurance,” Weed said. “You buy insurance hoping you don’t have to use it, but it’s there.”

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The police department received the vehicle shortly after applying for it. The program allowed police department to receive demilitarized vehicles free of charge.

“It was a part of program where you could put your name on a list,” Weed said. “We put our names on the list for an armored vehicle, and it didn’t matter to us whether it had rubber wheels or it was on tracks.”

The “track” vehicle previously served time in the military, but even then, Weed said it was used as a command station for artillery units.

“When it was in the military, it was a command post,” Weed said. “It was set up with nothing but radios. It’s just a completely armored truck that was on tracks.”

The vehicle is painted white and adorned with the Troy Police Department logo as well as the words “tactical rescue vehicle” emblazoned on the side. The vehicle does not have a gun, a battering ram or any other mechanisms that could be used in an offensive manner. Weed stressed the vehicle was purely for a defensive purpose.

“Our purpose for this to provide the ability to help and protect people, just like the name on the side,” Weed said. “The police department is here to help people and to protect the community. We’re glad we have it, but we’re hoping it says out of sight, out of mind.”

Weed said the police department was aware of how having an armored vehicle could make the police department look, but he said it was better to be safe than sorry should an issue arise where it would be needed.

“It’s the only thing we have that has complete ballistic protection from any caliber gun,” Weed said. “We’re in a town with a university and all the students, with the Virginia Tech incident, numerous school shootings that have occurred, that’s our first priority. Even with Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin, first and foremost our priority is the welfare of our schools.”

The armored vehicle resides at the police department’s shooting range, but Weed said if the need for the vehicle should arise, it could be on the scene quickly.

“If it saves just one person, it’s doing its job,” Weed said. “Hopefully, you never have to see it, but if you do you know it’s probably a bad day in Troy.”