Nampa PD's new armored car is one big ride

NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) -- The latest and largest addition to the vehicle fleet of the Nampa Police Department is one big beast.

It's called an MRAP, which is a military acronym for mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle.

MRAPs were designed to protect American troops from landmines and IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now one MRAP will be used to protect police and the public in Nampa.

"People kind of think: 'why would you need something like this in Nampa,'" said Nampa police Sgt. Tim Randall. "Well, the reality is we deal everyday with people with firearms, and there have been situations where people were shooting at us."

If the Nampa Police Department wanted to buy a civilian MRAP version, it would cost as much as $400,000. But this one was free.

With the war in Afghanistan winding down, more military surplus is being made available to law enforcement in the USA at no cost.

But maybe free isn't the right word.

After all, these MRAPs were already paid for -- by American taxpayers.

The Boise Police Department has an MRAP and Caldwell PD is working to get one as well.

But don't expect to see these big guys on routine patrol, they are strictly for special operations.