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View All Articles | February 10, 2016

Armored Vehicle plays big role in police standoff

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BOZEMAN – A standoff in Bozeman could have ended much worse than it did. Bozeman police say patience and technology are big reasons the standoff ended relatively peacefully.

It was the protection provided by an armored vehicle that allowed police to patiently wait outside as they tried to negotiate with the suspect, instead of storming in, putting everyone’s lives at risk.

One of the key players in the standoff negotiations today was the BearCat.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Henry Dun, a Bozeman resident who watched the standoff unfold.

Dun lives in the area and says the truck looks intimidating, but he says it really makes him feel safe.

“I think they’re trying to do the safe thing right now and make sure no one else gets hurt or anything like that,” said Dun.

Minimizing harm is exactly why police say they purchased the vehicle in the first place.

“Well it allows us to protect the officers, the medics, the negotiators, who happen to be very close to the scene and so we can try to establish face to face or over our PA communication with the subject,” said Steve Crawford, Bozeman Chief of Police.

However, the monstrous vehicle isn’t just for the officers.

“We’ve also utilized the vehicle to assist with evacuations of neighboring houses,” said Crawford.

While there is no direct cost to operate the BearCat, police say it requires a lot of man power whenever there is a standoff.

“They are very man power intensive, and to do it safely it takes resources,” said Crawford.

Resources for which Henry Dun says he’s thankful.

“I think for this situation ya, definitely. And situations that might happen or have happened,” said Dun.

Bozeman police say if the standoff had lasted longer, they would have had the option of a team from Lewis and Clark county and Helena to come in with their BearCat to relieve the current team that was in place.

By Kaitlin Bane
Fox Montana