With moving lights and an automatic rear gate, it looks like something out of the movie "Transformers", but the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office new big, bad armored vehicle is anything but a product of Hollywood.
It's called an MRAP, which stands for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. It weighs 15 tons, and costs close to $750,000. It came to Jefferson County this past fall, however, free of charge, courtesy of a grant from the U.S. military. The vehicle was used by soldiers in Iraq for a few years before being replaced by a newer model.
"We're very fortunate to have one of these vehicles in our community," said Jefferson COunty Sheriff's Office spokesman Rod Carroll.
It can fit 6 to 8 officers inside along with riot gear and tactical weapons. Carroll says its main purpose is to rescue people from active shooter situations.
"This vehicle here will allow us to get between the suspect and the individuals that need rescuing and remove them to a safe environment," said Carroll.
It will also be use to protect officers during SWAT standoffs.
It also has floodlights that can hinder suspects' vision, and a retractable hook that can pull down fences or other barriers.
Carroll says it's the most advanced rescue vehicle the county has ever had, and one he hopes they never have to use.