(Staff photo by Trenton Scroggins)
(Staff photo by Trenton Scroggins)
The Madison Police Department Emergency Response Team has added a new piece of equipment to its arsenal - a rather large piece of equipment.

This week, the department received a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protection vehicle, commonly referred to as MRAP.

The vehicle comes at no cost to the city. It was donated through the Defense Logistics Agency, a government surplus program that provides local police departments with equipment.

Sgt. Ben McKay, the leader of the ERT squad, said the department had been on a waitlist for an armored vehicle for several months.

"We were kind of expecting an armored Hummer," McKay said. He was not expecting the vehicle they ultimately ended up with.

The vehicle weighs 20 tons and stands roughly 13 feet tall. Each door weighs 700 pounds, and are opened using hydraulics. It can seat six people comfortably. Power locks come standard, and it features a sunroof/turret.

This type of vehicle was used by troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, so they are designed to withstand bullets and bombs. The MRAP can also fend off deadly gas attacks.

Once all the doors are sealed, those seated inside could survive a nuclear blast, McKay said.

McKay and other ERT officers received training on the vehicle earlier this week and brought it into town on Tuesday. The department does not plan on using it every day, and will keep it at the city garage until it is need.

"Currently, we expect to use in on any barricade situations or any active shooter situations," McKay said.