The Abilene City Council voted unanimously to approve the purchase of a $226,000 armored vehicle for use by the Abilene Police Department.

This is a tool that can be used for, among other reasons, rescuing injured persons during a shootout with a barricaded subject, delivering SWAT operators, serving warrants to high-risk suspects and providing a safe space for negotiating with armed suspects. All good reasons to justify the purchase.

This is an impressive vehicle. It's a Ford chassis which Lenco piles armor onto. Its features include a hydraulic ram, .50 caliber certified protection all around, and 22.5-inch tires. It has a 6.7 liter turbo diesel and about 400 horsepower. It will seat up to 12 operators, and is built to allow easy exit, meaning that SWAT teams can exit of the BearCat in seconds and respond almost immediately when arriving at a scene. It's total weight is 18,00o lbs. and can haul all of that weight at up to 90 miles per hour.

The cost may be high, but I find it difficult to put a price tag on the safety of Abilene's police force in the most dangerous situations.

Here is a video to give you an idea of what Abilene is getting. This video features the actual Lenco BearCat used in Sierra Vista, Arizona.