Walla Walla police get new armored vehicle

The Walla Walla Police Department has received a new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Armored Vehicle from the Department of Defense. The vehicle will be used by the Emergency Services Unit SWAT Team during training exercises and high risk operations.

The MRAP gives the Team a level of protection previously unavailable, providing full armor to enhance the safety of members as they are delivered directly to the scene of volatile situations involving potentially armed suspects. It will also allow for the safe evacuation of citizens from a scene in the event of an active shooter incident.

The cost of the MRAP to the City was $6,900, to cover the cost of transporting the vehicle to Walla Walla from Texas. The sales price to the US Army was $733,000.

Being a member of the SWAT team is a collateral duty, in addition to the officers' normal assignment. The SWAT Team, consisting of PD Officers, WWSO Deputies, and a City Firefighter/Paramedic, train twice a month on tactical issues. There are a total of 15 members on the SWAT team, including Team Leader Sgt. Mike Moses and Team Commander Captain Chris Buttice.

The SWAT team covers all of Walla Walla County to include the City of Walla Walla as well as the other cities and towns in Walla Walla County. In addition to training, the SWAT team is called out approximately 7 times a year on high risk emergency situations which include the service of high risk search warrants.

Once outfitted with emergency lights and police department identification, the vehicle will be displayed occasionally during local public events.