Armored vehicle to ‘help ensure the safety of our officers,’ says Arakawa

The Maui Police Department has acquired a Lenco “Bearcat” armored vehicle that will provide the department’s Special Response Team with armored protection and tactical capabilities during high-risk operations, officials said.

The county appropriated $280,000 to purchase the Bearcat, which “provides superior armored protection with the ability to repel a .50-caliber projectile, as well as superior maneuverability and load-carrying capacity,” according to a Maui County news release.

“This vehicle will help ensure the safety of our officers and the citizens of Maui County,” Mayor Alan Arakawa said in a statement. “I would like to thank the County Council for their support in acquiring this equipment, and the officers of the SRT who put their lives on the line for the sake of our community each day.”

Police Chief Gary Yabuta noted that the vehicle is the latest of its kind in the state and will provide a critical element of safety during operations that would have previously put officers in harm’s way.

“The men and women of the Maui Police Department are very appreciative of the mayor, his staff and the Maui County Council for this assistance with the acquisition of the Bearcat armored vehicle,” Yabuta said. “This vehicle not only provides greater protection and tactical advantage for our officers, it makes Maui County a safer community.”