by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — Late last week the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office took possession of an armored personnel carrier they received from the Lakewood, CO Police Department.
Sheriff Bruce Newman told the World Journal last week his office received the vehicle and accessories from the LPD at no cost to local taxpayers.
The vehicle, a South African Mamba APC, was designed for internal security purposes and developed in the late 1980s. The unit is designed to transport military or law enforcement personnel into dangerous areas where those utilizing the vehicle could come under hostile gunfire. The vehicle is armored, has run-flat tires and windows are made of bullet resistant material.
Vehicles such as these are used in the law enforcement world to execute search warrants or to carry officers into a potentially dangerous area, and especially as a secure victim recovery vehicle in hostile (active shooter) incidents.
Sheriff Newman said this vehicle will be especially useful in serving search and arrest warrants at illegal marijuana grow operation sites where officers generally have no cover protection when walking into open fields.
Sheriff Newman said last week he is working to establish coordinated training sessions using the new vehicle with the Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office, Trinidad Police Department and Colfax New Mexico and Raton law enforcement agencies.
Sheriff Newman said he would like to establish a regional Emergency Response Team utilizing deputies and officers from various southern Colorado and northern New Mexico agencies who would be able to assist each other in emergency situations in which the Mamba unit could be used.