Sheriff Leon Lott of Richland County, South Carolina has gotten ahold of an M113A2 Armored Personal Carrier (APC) for some serious police work. And though a new APC fitted with a .50-cal belt-fed machine gun is a scary prospect, the Sheriff's department claims it only pays about $2,000 a year to acquire this kind of equipment (though we're not clear if that means the total cost). Perhaps they could replace the old Crown Vics with APCs. Either because he's a religious nut or has a sense of humor, Sheriff Lott is calling the vehicle "The Peacemaker" in reference to Matthew 5:9 because "Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be the children of God." No joke, that's in the press release below. Don't speed through Coumbia, South Carolina. Seriously.
Acutal Press Release Sheriff Leon Lott unveiled the armored personnel carrier (APC), having the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Special Response Team (SRT) demonstrate the functions and abilities of the SRT and APC. Sheriff Lott was accompanied during the press conference today by the South Carolina National Guard who will assist the Sheriff’s Department with training, maintenance and general support for the operation of the APC. The APC was purchased under the “1033 program” which falls under the State Budget and Control Board, General Services Division. The program allows law enforcement agencies to receive military surplus – the Sheriff’s Department pays a fee per year of $2,000 from our general fund budget to acquire access to equipment, worth thousands of dollars on the open market. Sheriff Lott stated that during the Army’s use of the APC, the Federal Government paid over $300,000 for each M113A2 APC. Sheriff Lott stated that “1033 program” is a great resource for improving the effectiveness of the Sheriff’s Department while saving the citizens money (Mr. Ron Cathey runs the 1033 program for South Carolina and his number is (803) 896-7628). The armored personnel carrier (APC) will provide additional assets to the Special Response Team (SRT) as they deal with a wide array of threats to our citizens. The Special Response Team involves two dedicated seven-person teams - SRT members are part time and have regular full-time duties. Sheriff Lott stated that the members of SRT have been trained to address barricaded suspects, hostage scenarios, high risk warrants, engage in active counter measures, crowd control, and hostile environmental situations. All SRT operators are required to be Hazardous Material Technicians to better serve the populous in the ever-changing threats to our country — all SRT members are a part of the Richland County COBRA (Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological) response team as we prepare to protect our citizens from the threat of explosives, chemical hazards or spills, or biological release. SRT utilizes different forms of weaponry (both less-than-lethal and lethal) in order to address any threats to our citizens. Sheriff Leon Lott extended his appreciation to the citizens of Richland County and to the State Paper for their contributions in naming the APC (the State held an online search to garner public assistance on naming the APC). The purpose in obtaining this equipment is the protection of life and our protection of our communities – that the mere presence of the APC will prevent loss of life or injury to any and all citizens. Sheriff Lott stated that the name selected from the entries will be “The Peacemaker” because that is the APC’s purpose and the bible refers to law enforcement in Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”. Sheriff Lott hopes to always bring resolution to all conflict through peaceful means.