• Home

Local SWAT Team Gets New Armored Vehicle For Rescues, Response

Posted: Updated:

A new vehicle purchased with state money will keep Metro SWAT team members safe and improve response to dangerous incidents according to Binghamton Police Department. The armored vehicle was purchased with a $275,000 grant secured by Senator Fred Akshar. The interior has room for about ten members of the Metro Swat team, comprised of officers from the Binghamton, Vestal, and Johnson City Police Departments.

"Before we were able to purchase this vehicle behind us the Metro SWAT team was transporting themselves in an old bread truck," says Akshar.

Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski says the nearest vehicle like the one just purchased by his department would have to be called in from Syracuse or Rochester in an emergency. That's hours of time that are critical. He says during a recent incident in the city, the SWAT officers were hiding behind patrol cars and houses, where now they can use the armored truck as a shield. Vehicles like this one are also used to go into a dangerous scene to rescue an officer or civilian who has been shot.

Officer Bob Charpinsky with the Metro SWAT team says the vehicle is equipped with an intercom system that can help in negotiations with armed suspects.

"We can hear what they're saying and they can hear what we're saying, so we can negotiate with them from inside the safety of this vehicle," says Charpinsky.

Charpinsky also says this vehicle is ideal for rescues during natural disasters like flash flooding because of the height of the tires.