Duluth Police Department Gets New Tactical Response Vehicle

By KBJR News 1

August 6, 2010 Updated Apr 8, 2008 at 6:34 AM CDT

Violent crimes are an unfortunate part of life across the country and sometimes here in the Northland.

Police officers need the most up-to-date equipment and tools to keep our communities safe.

The Duluth Police Department now has a new vehicle that will not only keep the community safer, but its officers as well.

"There's no comparison between the old van and the new one. It's like night and day."

The Duluth Police Department's new tactical response vehicle is top notch.

"We can focus on where we are going, what we are going to do, and the importance of getting the job done quickly."

With the old vehicle often the focus was just getting the vehicle going and keeping it going until it got to the scene.

Officer Jason Tanski has been on the team for eight years and is thrilled he no longer has to work out of this old beat-up gold cross ambulance.

The springs were gone the emergency lights would go on and off on their own, the vehicle wouldn't start at critical crime scenes, and the back doors would sometimes lock the team inside.

"These are probably the worst incidents that can happen you know for law enforcement officers, and we need to be able to deal with that exclusively, we don't want to worry about any of those outside distractions."

This new vehicle is state of the art with lots of room to stand up for quick deployment.

Equipment is easily storable and it's set up for better communication at crime scenes.

"Hook up our mobile data computers here that can link with our dispatch system as well as other responding squads."

Lieutenant Dan Chicos says his team is now able to respond more quickly to critical scenes while being able to keep their focus on the task at hand.

"We've got specialized weapons, specialized tactics, and we need rapid deployment to a scene, to get there and resolve it as quickly as possible. And this vehicle affords us the ability to do that."

It's a tool the department hopes they never have to use, but when they do, they want to have confidence they'll get their quickly and safely.

"I've been on the team not for about 15 years. And we've never had a piece of equipment like this."

In Duluth, Dan Hanger, The Northland's NewsCenter.

The tactical response team has used the vehicle twice already, and we're told deployment was successful.