USA

On patrol with the sheriff's "Peacemaker"

Patrol cars weren't adequate in keeping order in the land, Sheriff Leon Lott decided. So off to the army he went, to ask for an armoured vehicle fitted out with a machine gun. "It shall be called The Peacemaker," he thought. Read more...

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Patrol cars weren't adequate in keeping order in the land, Sheriff Leon Lott decided. So off to the army he went, to ask for an armoured vehicle fitted out with a machine gun. "It shall be called The Peacemaker," he thought.

The Peacemaker is now part of the official convoy of Richland County (South Carolina). With a speed of 30 mph, the vehicle is fitted with a machine gun that, in general, says the US Army, would not be aimed at a person, but rather, another armoured vehicle.

Sheriff Leon Lott and his team with "The Peacemaker"

 

Photos sent by Lieutenant Chris Cowan.

"We can use it to communicate with suspects"

Lieutenant Chris Cowan is the deputy of Sheriff Lott, who ordered The Peacemaker.

We see this armoured vehicle as a supplementary tool for our special response team. In certain situations, for instance a hostage taking, we can use it to approach a house to communicate with the suspects without putting the hostages in danger - possibly delivering a phone so that we can talk with them. We can also use The Peacemaker for parades. It's a good way to break the ice and start a conversation - maybe people will want to get involved in their communities when they see it and talk with the deputies.

Richland County is quite a quiet area; a good place to live in. The people who criticise us say that the vehicle isn't suited to the environment here. But they don't understand the applications that this may be used for - the likely hood that this will be needed is very small but if we need it we will have it. A few years ago in LA, robbers targeted a bank with machine guns, and killed several people and police officers. Maybe with the Peacemaker, they could have prevented death to citizens. We just want to protect our fellow citizens and we hope we'll never have to use it. The community chose the name Peacemaker, through submissions to the State Paper, because that's the way law enforcement is described in the bible.

In the end people criticise us because they think we bought the vehicle. They're wrong. The Peacemaker was army surplus; it didn't cost us a thing operate, purchase or maintain because we have people on staff that can do this. "