BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. (PIX11) — There is a debate in Bergen County over the acquisition of two MRAP’s, Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, for the Bergen County Regional SWAT Team.
“I do not want them, I think they’re the wrong thing for Bergen County,” said Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan.
Donavan also said to PIX11, “We are not going to militarize Bergen County.”
“I’m being condemned before I even get this vehicle,” said Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino,”I give my word to the people of this County this will not be used for a crowd control situations.”
Sheriff Michael Saudino said the vehicles will be used for, “High risk transportations, calls like a barricades suspect, they will not be used for crowd control.”
“They will not be out on patrol. I will be happy if it sits in our yard and it never called upon to be used.”
The Sheriff added that they could be used in 7 feet of water.
Freeholder Chairman David L. Ganz said in a statement:
“The men and women of our county law enforcement agencies are the most professional in the country and while we hope these vehicles are never needed if they save just a single innocent life we will all be grateful they were available. The Freeholder Board is exploring potential guidelines, consistent with the Attorney General’s, that stipulate allowable uses of armored vehicles to ensure they are never used in a paramilitary matter or against civil protests. The manner in which the situation in Missouri escalated is inexcusable and will never happen here in Bergen County. “