New Amarillo SWAT vehicle makes difference for responding officers

How it has helped them better respond to a recent SWAT standoff.

VIDEO: Amarillo SWAT new vehicle impacts response time

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo SWAT team says its new SWAT vehicle has made it easier, safer and faster for them to respond to dangerous situations compared to their old one.

The have been using the new vehicle for about three months now and it has many updates that the old one did not. The old vehicle was about 15 years old, unreliable with electrical and mechanical issues.

The Amarillo SWAT team recently responded to a dangerous situation. With the new vehicle, they were able to get closer to the scene as well as better protect the responding officers.

“We had an armed barricaded suspect inside of a business. We did know that he was armed, and we knew that he was wanted on a felony warrant. He wasn’t coming out. We were able to use this truck to penetrate the building and allowed us to get us a lot closer, allowed us to get a robot inside and do some looking around, all without having to expose our officers to some gun fire and ultimately, we were able to get that guy out and take him into custody without any shots being fired,” said Sergeant Toby Hudson, Amarillo SWAT.

Sergeant Hudson says the difference between the new and old vehicle are ‘night and day’ as they are able to do a lot more with the new features and space in the truck.

The truck also has more room to fit people inside.

“We may just be having to move from one side of the scene to the other side. And if we’re all able to fit in there, it’s giving us armor around all of us, protecting us from anything that might come at us. So that alone, is beneficial to the team. The less people that you can get in that means the more time you’re going to be having to move back and forth. So obviously, it helps with time and helps us keep us all together and put us in positions that we need to be to be successful,” said Jaycin Smothermon, corporal, Amarillo SWAT.

The new vehicle has made it easier, safer and faster for the team to successfully complete jobs.

“The difference is, obviously this being a newer model, a newer style, it is more adaptable to the things that we’re dealing with and facing, then when we were back when we got the original one,” said Smothermon.

They now have two armored vehicles, so in the extreme case they have two situations to respond to, they are now able to split up and send one vehicle to each scene.

For more information about the new SWAT vehicle, click here.

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