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Batten down the hatches

Newport Beach’s police receive a beefy present from Beverly Hills in the form of an armored vehicle.

August 29, 2009|By Joseph Serna

Here’s some advice from police: When you see this thing rolling down the street, go inside and lock your doors.

Because when you see the 9,000-pound Peace Keeper armored vehicle coming into your neighborhood, something’s about to go down.

Adding to its arsenal of equipment for just-in-case situations, Newport Beach police can brag that they now have not one, but two armored vehicles to deal with the worst situations.

Introducing the Peace Keeper, an automatic-transmission armored vehicle the department got for free from the Beverly Hills Police Department, who were replacing it with their own new piece of equipment. The Peace Keeper is smaller and lighter than the department’s retrofitted Brinks armored truck, which is six and a half tons of steel with a manual transmission with limited mobility because of its size.

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The Peace Keeper, like the Brinks truck, is capable of withstanding rifle fire. Theoretically, it can also withstand fragmentation grenades, said Sgt. Evan Sailor.

“But I wouldn’t want to be inside to test it,” he joked.

The armored gift arrived in Newport Beach last week via the military’s 10-33 program that provides surplus equipment to law enforcement agencies.

Police only have to deploy their armored vehicles about twice a year, on SWAT team calls, officer-down calls or citizen rescues, Sailor said.

The Peace Keeper also has a turret, or port hole on top with ballistic glass for protection.


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