Niles police get armored vehicle

NILES – The Niles Police Department should be better prepared for the worst after recently receiving an armored vehicle from the U.S. military.

Thanks to a federal program that awards demilitarized military equipment used by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the help of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, the police department received one of five Mine Resistant Ambush Protective Vehicles, or MRAPs, that had been given to Ohio.

Valued at $733,000 and received at no cost to the department, Niles was only responsible for transportation and delivery from Sealy, Texas. That cost was paid for by a donation from the Cafaro Foundation and money given by Niles, Weathersfield and McDonald.

According to the police department, the vehicle will be used as the primary insertion unit for the Multi-Jurisdictional Special Response Team, which serves Niles, Weathersfield and McDonald, in situations like violent barricaded subjects, high risk felony warrants, critical incident responses and rescue and recovery of injured persons or officers during an active shooter event.

Other uses include natural disasters like floods or blizzards. The vehicle’s design allows it to drive through feet of water or snow and rescue people trapped in their homes.

Niles Police Chief Rob Hinton said officials from the three communities, officials with Cafaro and Ryan, D-Howland, will officially unveil the vehicle on May 15 at the police station.