Salem, IL – It’s almost like driving a tank,” said Sgt. Jeff Mount of the Salem PD about the new Lenco BearCat. Salem PD showed off the newest addition to the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) vehicle fleet on Monday.
The Lenco BearCat is an armored vehicle that is being housed in Salem. It is one of nine of these types of vehicles to come to the state through a Homeland Security grant. The $225,000 vehicle is already being used by the military and for tactical operations in Iraq and is now showing up on the home front all across the country.
The Lenco Bearcat was awarded to Salem for housing because SPD Chief Ron Campo is also the commander of the ILEAS Special Response Team for Weapons of Mass Destruction. The team consists of 23 specially trained members who are able to operate the Lenco BearCat in a 33-county area in the southern part of the state. The state is divided into 11 ILEAS regions, and the team covers Regions 9 and 11, consisting of a total of 33 counties. If any problems arise in those counties, the Bearcat is available to them.