Armor-plated SWAT truck beefs up protection for officers

City Councilor Eli Matthews peers out of the rooftop hatch of Medford's new SWAT truck while Sgt. Ben Lytle looks on. (Cell phone photo by Damian Mann)

A 50-caliber, full-metal jacket bullet won't penetrate the thick steel plates on Medford's brand-new, $260,000 SWAT truck that looks like a Humvee on steroids.

Built on a Ford F-550 chassis, the behemoth will beef up protection for up to 10 police officers, who can use the revolving gun turret on the roof or gun portals in the doors and walls.

"We got an early Christmas present," Medford police Chief Tim George said, showing off the features of the truck to City Councilors Thursday.

The truck already got a test spin last week when the SWAT team descended last Thursday on the 3000 block of Shelterwood Circle, just off Howard Avenue in north Medford.

Police officers arrested Antonio Ledesma Miranda, 29, on charges related to a shooting at a local Mexican restaurant.

George said he anticipates the truck will be called out about 20 times a year to handle situations that could potentially turn violent.

— Damian Mann

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