BSCO introduces new tool for SWAT situations
March 26, 2019 06:30 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office is debuting the Rook, which deputies say will be a versatile tool to combat criminals in hard to reach areas. The Sheriff says it looks menacing but it's going to keep criminals and cops safer.
The Rook is an armored vehicle with four separate attachments that can deploy gas, rip down walls or provide a bulletproof barrier.
"Public safety was their number one concern. This is going to help keep us safe and the public safe," said Sheriff Manny Gonzales. He says he's already seen it in action.
"It was just used a couple weeks ago in an incident and that person admitted they were just overwhelmed by the equipment and gave up," he said. "This raises up about 12 feet, so you can put somebody on the second story of a house. Through a window, on top of a grade, or a porch or something like that."
"You can fit a rifle barrel through here if you need to shoot through the glass without exposing yourself," said Lt. Blackmon, who heads the SWAT unit for BSCO. He says they will bring this along on all of their callouts — which is around two dozen every year.
The Rook cost $315,000. The truck to pull it cost another $58,000. Most of the money came from the state's capital outlay funds last year.
"I just learned last night that there are only 29 of these in the whole country," Gonzales said.
It's not uncommon in our state though — New Mexico State Police have two, the Albuquerque Police Department has one, and BSCO said they needed one too,
Gonzales says the Rook is outfitted with 9 cameras to view its surroundings in real time, but none of them have the ability to record.
Updated: March 26, 2019 06:30 PM
Created: March 26, 2019 05:26 PM
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