CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - The Canyon Police Department’s new armored vehicle will be protecting officers as they protect the citizens of Canyon.
But in another life, this vehicle served as protection for military service members.
“The Department of Defense has excess material left over from the military,” said Cpl. Matt Garza with the Canyon Police Department. “Well, they park it on a base and it just sits there for however long they need to keep it.”
Canyon Police applied for the ERAP-V or Emergency Response Armored Personnel Vehicle through a government program that gives excess material to law enforcement agencies that qualify.
The armored vehicle is worth nearly $500,000, but the only cost to the City of Canyon was the vehicle’s refurbishment.
“We have to do all the maintenance to it, we have to change all the oils and fluids and replace parts that are broken or missing,” said Garza. “That was kind of extensive just because we didn’t know we were working with.”
West Texas Hot Rods did most of the refurbishing, but had the help of some Canyon police officers.
“There was a complete tear down of the entire vehicle and it was sanded by the officers,” said operator and mechanic at West Texas Hot Rods Jamie Sappington. “They actually put in a lot of hours of their own sanding and prepping to cut the bill for the citizens.”
Garza said the vehicle can protect officers in emergency situations as well as be used for rescue and assistance in bad weather.
“There’s been times where medication hasn’t been able to be delivered to, you know, assisted living homes or medical locations,” he said. “And this type of vehicle being so high, we believe that it’ll get through snow a little bit better than most vehicles.”
The vehicle made it’s debut in Canyon’s Fourth of July parade.
“We did get it outfitted, we did get it running and driving and everything’s working perfectly on it,” said Garza. “The last bits that we have to do is install radios and the little bits to actually make it go in service.”
Sappington said his military background helps him with the vehicle’s maintenance and he’s proud to continue serving where he’s needed.
“I take a lot of pride in helping my local law enforcement, my fire department and my EMS and anything that they need, the same as I served my country with whatever they need,” he said.
“It’s a very comforting thing knowing that we have protection if we do have something very serious or you know anything that we want to do to protect the citizens,” said Garza.
Canyon Police said when it’s in service, the new vehicle will be made available to other law enforcement agencies on an as-needed basis.