Former SWAT vehicle has hit the road

The Medford Police Department recently purchased a pricey new SWAT van to replace the one they had. My question is, what ever happened to the old SWAT vehicle?

Does the department now have two SWAT vans? Seems like that would be a bit redundant, unless the local police are expecting dangerous SWAT callouts might sometime happen simultaneously.

— Kris K., Medford

Medford might have its crime issues, Kris, but the chances of multiple SWAT callouts happening at the same time are rather slim.

The Medford Police Department seems to agree, as it recently donated its old SWAT van to the Douglas County Sheriff's Department.

That agency didn't have a SWAT vehicle to its name and was willing to come down to Medford to take ours, Medford police Chief Tim George said.

"If they can fix it up, it's better than nothing," George said. "It's going to require some maintenance to get it going, but at least they'll have a SWAT vehicle."

Medford police purchased a brand-new $260,000 SWAT truck last year. The agency took some heat from those who believed the truck, which sits on a Ford F-550 chassis and features a revolving turret on its roof, was unnecessary and expensive.

The SWAT van is used for high-risk cases and can be used as a barrier between the police and someone with a firearm.

It also could be used to evacuate innocents from a dangerous crime scene.

The Medford City Council recently gave the okay to the police department to donate the old SWAT van to Douglas County.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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