Broome County Sheriff takes heavy equipment to new level

By Matt Porter

August 26, 2013 Updated Aug 27, 2013 at 10:47 AM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) With its black frame, heavy tires and armor, the Broome County Sheriff's Office's armored carrier looks more like some thing out of the bat cave than the county garage.

Broome County Sheriff David Harder helped secure the vehicle through a military surplus.

"It's designed for explosives to blow up underneath it and not damage or injure people inside," Harder said.

The office received the military-grade item from Auburn, N.Y. last year.

"It's got a diesel engine -- Mercedes diesel engine -- runs very quietly," Harder said. "It's all armored."

The 48,500-pound crime fighting machine drives smooth, towering over the cars and trucks around it.

Harder said he picked up the truck because it would be cheaper than buying new bulletproof SWAT van.

"We didn't have much for a SWAT vehicle, so we got this," he said. "A SWAT vehicle runs about $200,000."

The carrier didn't cost Broome County anything to buy, it came free from military surplus.

However, it did need $6,000 in repairs paid through money seized in drug busts.

"Instead of spending $200,000 for a regular SWAT vehicle, we obtained this." Harder said.

The truck has seen nearly 20 years of action, including war in South Africa and Afghanistan.

Now, it will take police fearlessly into danger.

"We can move our SWAT people closer to their objective without getting injured because it's basically bulletproof," Harder said.

The truck is able to scale steep hills and drive through deep waters, which could help in the event of another flood.

With no taxpayer money needed for the purchase, Harder said the decision was a no-brainer.

"Do we need it? Hopefully we don't need it, but we're prepared for it," he said.

Considering the vehicle's capabilities, prepared is an understatement.