EUGENE, Ore. — Lane County sheriff’s deputies have been using military vehicles at some crime scenes.
Just last week, the LCSO executed three search warrants using the vehicles.
The sheriff’s office says it’s had the vehicles for a couple of years now, but people have begun taking notice of them out at crime scenes.
The sheriff’s office obtained five multi-purpose wheeled vehicles and one armored vehicle through a loan program. One vehicle, also known as a REVA, is one of only 10 in the country, and it was obtained based on need.
Lane County qualified because of its high crime rate coupled with a low officer to resident ratio. Any upkeep and maintenance comes from drug seizure money.
So far officers have used them on high-risk search warrants involving people with weapons charges, a barricaded suspect, and even shots fired calls.
“It’s a huge safety for us because we just don’t have the number of staff anymore, and even if we did have a larger number of staff, this still provides that extra margin of safety for us,” said Sgt. Chris Doyle, Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies say they’ve also been used for search and rescue operations along with flooding. For instance, if deputies have to go through deep flooding or even deep snow, those vehicles have much a higher success rate.
The local National Guard has also assisted with some routine maintenance to help keep costs down.