By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – Police officers have a new weapon in their arsenal.
Inkster-based Livernois Vehicle Development staff and Dearborn Police officers attended a Dec. 15 display where the company revealed an armored vehicle for the Department donated by the U.S. Army.
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said the new vehicle is the first step toward interrupting a crime in progress. The vehicle features a gun turret of original design and a winch on the front bumper.
He credited U.S. Rep. John Dingell with assisting the department in acquiring the vehicle.
“These vehicles are very hard to come by,” he said. “(John) Dingell was instrumental in lending support and guidance at the right time to get it.”
The process began in Sept. 2010, when the vehicle was donated. After the Department acquired the vehicle, it was in a city garage while companies offered bids on the restoration.
Funds from the U.S. Justice Assistance Grant totaling $25,000 provided the parts and labor for the three-month restoration, which included replacing the instrument panel, seats and total restoration of the body from the frame.
Supervisor Dennis Heinanen said other vehicles are similar, but the window frame and turret are specific to the new vehicle.
Dearborn Police Cpl. Jerry Blevins said the vehicle, built on the chassis of a 1981 Dodge Ram, will be operational beginning today and serve initially as a training vehicle for Special Weapons And Tactics officers. During the presentation, Blevins offered his congratulations to the Livernois staff for the restoration.
“When we got this vehicle, it was a 1981 Dodge with an armored shell,” he said. “Now, it’s a 1981 Peacekeeper Armored Personnel Carrier.”
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected])