2013-11-28 / Front Page

Sheriff’s department lands two Humvees

Staff Writer • 810-452-2668 • jbonke@mihomepaper.com

Huron County Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson stands beside one of the department’s two Humvees. 
Photo by John Bonke Huron County Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson stands beside one of the department’s two Humvees. Photo by John Bonke HURON COUNTY — The Huron County Sheriff’s Department now has two Humvees, thanks to the efforts of Undersheriff Duane Miller obtaining them at no cost through a military surplus program.

The vehicles were offered free to law enforcement agencies through the program, and agencies, as a condition, must give the vehicles back if and when they’re no longer needed or give them to another such agency. The program is operated through Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) in conjunction with the Defense Logistics Agency.

“Undersheriff Miller was very instrumental in us getting these vehicles,” Hanson said.

The department had been looking for more than a year for a vehicle to tow the department’s patrol boat and trailer and needed a vehicle with a three-quarter ton chassis or larger and these Humvees are one and one-quarter ton chassis, Hanson noted.

The two were selected from about four dozen similar vehicles by Hanson and Miller. Other vehicles including large trucks and semis also were available Hanson noted.

The other Humvee selected most likely was a troop hauler since it had a canvass top and canvass doors. Hanson said that unit will be converted into more of a pickup truck configuration.

Sheriff deputies drove the two vehicles up to Huron County. Hanson said that he expected low gas mileage of the diesel vehicles, around five or six gallons, but it got around 11 miles per gallon.

The Humvees can travel at a speed of about 70 miles per hour Hanson noted. They handle well he added. “They ride extremely well, but they’re loud on the inside,” he said. Hanson noted that the inside configuration of seating, which is for four, would allow it to carry a stretcher if needed.

Goat’s Graphix, based in Bad Axe, converted the Humvees from a camouflage paint scheme to all black and applied the necessary logos and decals. American Technical Fabricators, based in Bad Axe, added the trailer hitches and made changes to the roof of one of the Humvees where a 50-caliber gun turret was mounted. Hanson estimates that the vehicles were made in the 1990s and have since been re-built. He said he isn’t certain if either of the units saw combat duty, however a bullet hole was discovered in one of them during repainting.

Hanson noted the cost of conversion, including lights, radio and antenna mounts, paint and decals, at around $5,000.

Hanson said that street patrol won’t be one of the main uses for the vehicles, but they could be pressed into service in inclement weather. One of the vehicles will be in about a dozen or so upcoming local parades this summer.

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