Military vehicle in service in Chisago County

The Chisago County MaxxPro vehicle.

The Chisago County Sheriff’s Office received a military armored vehicle called a MaxxPro, a type of mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle, in July 2016.
“We received an $850,000 vehicle for free and spent a total of $11,000 to get it transported into our county and make all the needed repairs,” Chisago County Sgt. Kyle Puelston said.
Chisago County previously had an armored personnel carrier called a Peacekeeper. It weighed about 8,000 pounds, had slanted, hardened steel armor protection and was designed to deflect bullets.
“Two years ago, we used our Peacekeeper to rescue six people that were locked in a bathroom in a farmhouse. Their landlord was intoxicated and shooting a shotgun just outside the house and threatening to kill them,” Puelston said. “The Peacekeeper was used to protect the SWAT team as it drove up to the front door to rescue the six people out of the house, place them in the Peacekeeper, and bring them to safety.”
The problem with the Peacekeeper was it required constant repairs. Vehicles like the MaxxPro are a new generation of armored vehicles that are given to law enforcement agencies to replace the 30- to 35-year-old Peacekeepers. The MaxxPro that the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office received was built in 2008 by Navistar Defense and is a much more reliable armored vehicle.
The sheriff’s department tailored the MaxxPro to its specific needs with the help of Chisago County highway mechanics, support personnel and other people including engineer Pete Hoefler, who donated specific materials for the MaxxPro.
“I’m happy to help these guys, and having that vehicle increases the odds that there won’t be an empty chair at the dinner table,” he said. “This SWAT team is professional, and they are doing their jobs with a great amount of humility.”
Hoefler donated the protective glass for windows and protective materials to prevent anything from entering the vehicle to protect the occupants inside.
“I built an observation area at the top of the vehicle with protective glass,” Hoefler said. “They can stand up inside and make an assessment of any threat that is happening outside of the vehicle.”
The MaxxPro can also be used in weather emergencies.
“Because of its size and capabilities, it can be used to help emergency personnel get to people during blizzards, tornadoes and floods,” Puelston stated. “The MaxxPro provides safety not only to us, but to other people.”
According to Puelston, the MaxxPro provides a reliable, effective and inexpensive way to keep the community and their law enforcement officers safe in all kinds of dangerous situations.
“The vehicle doesn’t have any weapons that are mounted to it, it can’t blow things up, and it doesn’t transform into anything else,” Puelston said. “It allows us to always be prepared to respond whenever the situation calls for it.”

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