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Sioux City (Iowa) SWAT Team vehicle by Sirchie shows some of the many storage compartments and bench seating.

Sirchie Vehicle Division

Aubrey Hall, Sirchie Vehicle Division, stated that there are many types of SWAT vehicles and each type is designed to address different and specific types of operations. Some SWAT vehicles are designed to blend in as they are utilized to position a SWAT team to serve high-risk warrants, assist in narcotic operations, or other details without drawing at- tention to the vehicle.

Other, larger SWAT vehicles are utilized to store the SWAT equipment in a single location so the team can re- spond to an incident scene quickly, fully equipped. “The mission for a SWAT vehicle is to get the SWAT team and their required gear to an incident scene quickly and efficiently.”

Sirchie equips vehicles with bumper-mounted winches or push bumpers to assist in breaching a door or secured area. Storage cabinetry can be designed around the breaching tools and specific weaponry to be stored. Often this storage is designed for turn-out gear bags and specialized weapons such as long guns that the team will report to the vehicle with in lieu of storing in the vehicle on a continuous basis. Sirchie’s exterior lighting normally consists of traditional emergency lighting as well as scene and floodlighting. The major trend in this area is the utilization of LED lighting due to its high output and low power consumption. Interior lighting is also LED but is provided in both red and white. Sioux City, Iowa, Bomb Squad Commander Rex Mueller sees the primary functions for their Sirchie SWAT vehicle as providing transportation for SWAT members and gear, as well as providing ballistic protection for team members or citizens during rescue or tactical operations. “Because of these unique needs, these vehicles are typically larger than normal patrol SUVs or prisoner transportation vehicles, and must have the ability to carry thousands of pounds of spe-

Sioux City (Iowa) SWAT Team vehicle by Sirchie is capable of quickly deploying its armed SWAT team.

cialty equipment, ballistic protection, and unit members.” Mueller pointed out, “Prompt response of tactical re- sources means that most gear can be transported to the scene of an incident with team members. This saves valu- able time that would be taken to load any needed gear for a particular situation. Just some of the considerations should be the ability to securely store weapons, ammunition, low- lethality devices and platforms, breaching equipment, radio chargers, technology such as cameras, robots, and comput- ers as well as scene lighting.

Mueller stated that one of the most used pieces of equip- ment on their command truck are the dry erase boards, used to make assignments, track equipment, diagram structures, and outline training. He said that some current and future command vehicles will most likely have pads, flat screens, and other mobile devices to fill these needs. Mueller suggested departments look forward when pur- chasing SWAT team vehicles. He said, “Agencies consider- ing the purchase of a SWAT command vehicle or armored vehicle should configure the vehicle for future growth. Building a vehicle to accommodate only the current team needs and equipment may make the vehicle obsolete sooner than budgets allow their replacement.

“Because these vehicles typically stay in a fleet for a far longer period of time than patrol vehicles, they should be ordered with additional storage and capacity to be modi- fied as new technology and tactical hardware is acquired.”

Kathy Marks has been a child abuse investigator for more than 30 years. She teaches classes regarding domestic terrorism and is a previous contributor to LAW and ORDER. She can be reached at

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