I am a Sergeant with the City of Tomah, WI Police Department and just wanted to thank you for making such a quality product and share a recent success story.
On December 16, 2005, at approximately 10:05 PM, officers from my department were dispatched to an apartment building in our city for a reported disturbance. While investigating the disturbance the officers were fired on from inside one of the apartments. Three of our officers took cover behind two vehicles parked in the street directly in front of the residence. The incident is still under investigation, but it is believed that these vehicles were struck by several rounds that were fired at the officers. The temperature was approximately 10 degrees at the time of the incident.
I am a Team Leader with the Monroe County, WI Combined Tactical Unit, which is a multijurisdictional SWAT team comprised of officers of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Sparta Police Department, and Tomah Police Department, and I was called in and arrived a short time later.
Our neighboring county (La Crosse County, WI Sheriff’s Office) was designated as a regional host team for equipment and received a BEARCAT vehicle through a Homeland Security grant. We have been able to train with the BEARCAT several times in the past couple months and I immediately recognized that the BEARCAT would be of great help in resolving this problem. I initiated the mutual aid request and the BEARCAT was on scene in just over one hour. We used the BEARCAT to evacuate our three officers from the kill zone in front of the apartment. After removing the officers we drove the BEARCAT into the front yard of the apartment to protect our team while we evacuated the apartments on either side of the suspect. We evacuated a total of eight people from the two apartments.
Eventually we developed a tactical plan to drive the BEARCAT along the apartment building, breach a window where one of our officers returned fire and then determine if the suspect was down inside the room. This plan was executed and officers inside the rescue hatch of the BEARCAT were able to cover the suspect, who was later determined to be deceased in the room, while an entry was conducted and the suspect was secured.
The BEARCAT performed flawlessly in each of the three missions that we used it for and it provided an unparalleled level of safety for my team members, the officers who were pinned down, and the uninvolved citizens.
Thanks again for designing and producing such a quality product.
Sgt. Christopher Weaver
Tomah, WI Police Department
BEARCAT® SWAT TRUCK