The new Humvee acquired by Granite Shoals Police Department was recently outfitted for patrol with decals and safety equipment. The former military vehicle will be used by the incoming school resource officer for Highland Lakes Elementary School as transportation and a visual deterrent to threats. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
The Granite Shoals Police Department has upgraded its vehicle fleet with a military-grade Humvee, which will be driven by the incoming school resource officer at Highland Lakes Elementary School.
The department got the Humvee — its second — and other military vehicles from the U.S. Department of Defense at no cost to the city.
Along with being transportation for the SRO, the hulking Humvee will act as a visual deterrent to potential attackers, Police Chief John Ortis said.
“The look and sense of it will thwart somebody wanting to do harm,” he told DailyTrib.com.
The SRO’s primary purpose is to protect staff and students, Ortis said.
The Humvee also will come in handy during bad weather such as ice storms and floods. When Winter Storm Uri hit in February 2021, the police department’s other Humvee was the only vehicle able to make it over Lookout Mountain on RR 1431, which separates the town of Kingsland from Highland Lakes communities farther south, including Granite Shoals. He said this was critical in the department’s ability to provide aid.
The Granite Shoals Police Department has acquired roughly $3.5 million worth of equipment from the DOD since 2018 through the Law Enforcement Support Office, an extension of the Defense Logistics Agency. Law enforcement agencies and fire departments can submit applications to the DOD to receive free surplus equipment.
“Just about anything you could possibly imagine on a military installation is available,” said Ortis, who is also a U.S. Army veteran.
GSPD has received a wide range of equipment through the LESO program thanks to Capt. Chris Decker’s oversight of applications starting in 2018, Ortis said. The department has acquired everything from appliances such as refrigerators and printers to heavy construction equipment like Bobcats and boom lifts.
The new equipment doesn’t just benefit the police department. Equipment held for one year can be passed on to other city departments, which, so far, have received half-ton trucks and a Bobcat. All of this comes free of charge — the city just has to pay the cost of fuel to travel and pick up the equipment.