BearCat armored vehicle will make home in Gilroy

The BearCat, a tactical armored vehicle, is often used to combat

Santa Clara County law enforcement officers can expect to have a
new beast on their hands, and it will be hibernating in Gilroy.
Santa Clara County law enforcement officers can expect to have a new beast on their hands, and it will be hibernating in Gilroy.

About a month ago, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department obtained a tactical armored vehicle called a BearCat through a federal Department of Homeland Security grant.

The Gilroy Police Department will house the $285,000 vehicle once its built and delivered, GPD Sgt. Chad Gallacinao said.

The GPD volunteered to store the vehicle when the county purchased it, Gallacinao said. The county agreed because Gilroy was considered an appropriate deployment location in the South County, he said.

“Obviously we’re excited,” Gallacinao said. “Not just for Gilroy, but for all of South County. It could prove invaluable one day.”

Sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Sung said Sheriff’s officials would be training the Gilroy and Morgan Hill police departments on how to operate the BearCat, which Sung described as a “regional asset.”

Sung said the vehicle, similar to those used by SWAT teams and the U.S. Army, is often used to combat barricaded subjects, hostage situations, bank robberies and other situations with “highly volatile suspects.”

“We don’t have any other vehicle like that in South County,” Sung said.

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