"Bearcat" Saves Lives During South Georgia Standoff

"Bearcat" Saves Lives During South Georgia Standoff
Posted at 5:43 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 14:45:56-04

Tallahassee, Fla. (WTXL)--We're learning more about Friday's deadly standoff in Dooly County, Georgia.

It took teams from counties across the area including Lowndes, Crisp, Tift, and and Turner to de-escalate the situation. But one county's response is gaining attention and credited for saving lives.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office was awarded a grant from Homeland Security which helped them obtain an armored vehicle known as a "Bearcat". 

While many are often intimidated by it's militant look, officials say that's not it's purpose.

"The same reason that we give firefighters fire trucks is the same reason you give law enforcement the ability to withstand gunfire", Lt. Joseph Dukes. 

In fact, the "Bearcat" isn't even equipped with lethal weapons but with tear gas and simple diffusion methods.

"It's simply designed to protect the people inside", Dukes explains. 

The "Bearcat" is dispatched anytime there is a violent situation like Friday's standoff. It is also available to agencies within a 100 mile radius. The Georgia State Patrol has a similar model.