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April 3, 2020

2/3/2020 1:50:00 PM
HMV to help with tough rescues
This 1986 Humvee is the latest piece of equipment acquired by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department through a federal program that provides military surplus to law enforcement. (Randy Harrison photo)
This 1986 Humvee is the latest piece of equipment acquired by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department through a federal program that provides military surplus to law enforcement. (Randy Harrison photo)
For the price of an annual membership in a federal program, the Crawford County Sheriff's Department has acquired a vehicle that will aid rescue efforts in hard-to-reach areas.

Sheriff William Rutan picked up the 1986 Humvee in Lincoln Tuesday.

"It's an older one and it hasn't been used in a while," Rutan said. "But I drove it home yesterday and it ran like a top."

The sheriff acquired the all-terrain vehicle through the federal Law Enforcement Support Office program. It previously belonged to the Lincoln Police Department, but was returned to the LESO program when police there no longer needed it.

The sheriff's department pays a $400 annual fee to belong to LESO. The Humvee itself was free, and even came with a full tank of fuel.

There are some costs involved, however. Tinting on two windows needs replaced and the heater needs repaired. The Humvee will also be fitted out with decals that will identify it as part of the sheriff's department.

The Humvee will provide the department will a way to access areas along the Wabash and Embarras rivers that most vehicles can't reach most of the year, Rutan explained.

The vehicle is large enough to carry rescue equipment and bring injured persons out of the river bottoms and other remote spots.

Rutan added one Illinois police department has three Humvees. They were the only vehicles that could make it through a particularly bad snowstorm.

The LESO program provides local authorities with military surplus equipment. The department previously acquired an amphibious light armored vehicle for Crawford County Rescue through it.

Rutan said he also is getting a defibrillator for the Crawford County Jail through the program. The device carries a $25,000 price tag, but the department only has to pay for shipping from Colorado.

Rutan said he hopes to get another boat through LESO. He would also like to acquire a Humvee ambulance that could be used in rescues and as a mobile command center.





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