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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Emergency Services Vehicles Military


Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 26, 2014

MARV = Mobile Armored Rescue Vehicle
MRAP = Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicle

Why is the McHenry County Sheriff's Department procuring all these military-style vehicles? Why the militarization of the Department? What's the cost of a "free" vehicle?

Part of the cost is getting it back to McHenry County. What did Keith Nygren have to say about MARV, after MCSD acquired it?

What he didn't tell you in the YouTube promotional video was that the annual insurance cost was going to be $10,000. What? $10,000/year additional premium? For a vehicle that wasn't even street-legal? For just one vehicle?

When I saw the MARV at a Harley-Davidson dealership display, it didn't have windshield wipers or license plates. Does it have to be hauled everywhere on a trailer? Or do deputies drive it on the street, anyway?

What does MCSD need with an MRAP? Does Nygren or Zinke expect IEDs on McHenry County roads?

Who can drive these specialty vehicles? Special certification is needed, and the insurance company probably insists on it. But how many MCSD drivers are actually qualified to drive them? One of those qualified drivers has been sitting in the Boone County Jail on a Federal no-bond hold.

How will the MRAP get to where it's needed? Will a trailer service be called it? Ha! You can believe that deputies will be driving it, whether thoroughly qualified or not. And who will challenge them? Certainly no local cop is going to ticket a deputy driving the MARV or the MRAP, unless he is a very, very short-timer.

What are the annual maintenance costs for the MARV or the MRAP? What do parts cost? Who will work on them? Will the mechanics at the Sheriff's Garage work on them? Where will they get the training? How long is the training and where is it conducted? What will the training cost, all expenses disclosed? Must all the mechanics be trained to work on these vehicles, which are hardly ever used?

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