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View All Articles | March 19, 2014

5 critical lessons about armored vehicles from the Boston Marathon Bombing

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Armored vehicles help law enforcement face a new world of potential threats

In many ways, the Boston Marathon bombing incident served as a wakeup call. Those in the law enforcement community and the public who may have harbored somewhat of an “It’s never going to happen here” sentiment were faced with the hard reality of the 21st century terrorism threat. While most agree that there is no feasible way of totally securing public safety in a free and open society, there is now more than ever a desire to provide law enforcement agencies with the latest and most effective safety procedures and equipment. At the top of the list of “must haves” is the tactical armored vehicle, like the BearCat®, made by Pittsfield, MA-based Lenco Armored Vehicles.

More than a dozen BearCats® were deployed by multiple state, local, and regional agencies at the Boston Marathon scene, including one that took part in the final dramatic scene in which the BearCat® climbed a 24-inch retaining wall and then used a hydraulic battering ram on the vehicle to remove the tarp covering the boat in which the suspect had been hiding.

During the bombing incident the armored vehicles served multiple purposes, from overwatch and cover during the door to door search, to transporting large numbers of officers. The vehicles’ features and interoperability made them especially useful in the densely populated multi-agency scene manned by different groups and equipment. At numerous debriefings and discussions after the incident, the desirability of having tactical armored vehicles available was stressed time and again, and their features called absolutely essential to today’s law enforcement.

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