Created: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:36:00 EST
Updated: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:45:45 EST
The Jones County Sheriff’s Office acquires a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle to aid with emergency situations in the county.
“Miss Bessie” as it’s called, is the new addition to the office’s fleet. It’s named after Bessie Towles who is a long time employee at the Jones County Sheriff's Office.
The office first posted about the vehicle last week on their Facebook page and the announcement drew mixed reactions. It weighs more the 27,000 pounds and about 10 feet tall. The office claims "Miss Bessie" will be used for emergencies and natural disasters like flooding and tornadoes. It'll also serve to protect officers in hostage situations and dealing with barricaded suspects.
"It's a pretty cool vehicle you know," Jones County resident, L Broads said.
"It's a little bit ridiculous,” Jones County resident, Amanda Kitchens said. “It's not necessary here."
The office isn't the only one that has an MRAP. The Pentagon said in a statement, since 2013 more than 600 have been distributed to Law Enforcement Agencies across the country. It's part of a DOD program to put the vehicles to use rather than scrapping or destroying them. Offices can obtain everything from hummers to boots.
All agencies must meet certain criteria justifying the need. That includes active shooter incidents, drug interdiction, multi-jurisdiction use and ability to pay for vehicle maintenance.
At the time of production, MRAP’s cost between $400,000 - $700,000. The Jones County Sheriff's Office claims to have acquired “Miss Bessie” at no cost. However, the office likely paid for shipping and potential storage. The Pentagon says in a statement, “All excess DOD personal property is shipped "as is," and it is up to the individual LEA (Law Enforcement Agency) to maintain and repair items. “
For now, “Miss Bessie” will sit until she's called into action.