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McPherson County and City Commissioners Approve Purchase of BearCat Armored Vehicle for McPherson County Special Response Team


By Lucky Kidd


McPHERSON, Kan. — The McPherson County Commission Monday and McPherson City Commission Tuesday approved purchase of a new BearCat armored vehicle that will be used by the Sheriff’s Office and McPherson Police Joint Response Team.

Undersheriff James Bergstrom told County Commissioners their share of the just over $340,000 purchase price is being funded through existing revenue sources by delaying replacement of some patrol vehicles. The city has set aside funds in their capital equipment fund which will enable an outright purchase rather than having to finance it.

McPherson Police Chief Mikel Golden said this would replace an armored vehicle the city retired from service in 2020 due to its very poor condition. Chief Golden said it would be used in SWAT-type responses such as active shooter, barricaded subjects, hostage rescue, medical and emergency evacuation along with natural disaster response.

The unit would also be available for use in other area counties. As an example, the McPherson County response team is designated as the primary responder for Little River-Windom USD 444, which has attendance centers in McPherson and Rice County.

The BearCat will replace an armored vehicle the city of McPherson took out of service several years ago due to its advanced age and condition.

At the County Commission meeting Monday, a new Caterpillar bulldozer from Foley Equipment for Public Works was approved. Foley’s just over $274,000 bid was the lowest of two received.

Also approved for Public Works was over $51,000 in material for repairs to a drag unit at the asphalt plant. Some of this work could be done this year with other items to be done in 2025. Shipping charges are extra.

The Commission approved a policy on generative artificial intelligence. IT coordinator Jeff Butler said the policy would provide a general overview guideline for county employees along with outside vendors the county currently deals with in their offices. It also sets out acceptable uses for AI, recognizing the increased usages and capabilities along with taking into account potential risks including security or privacy concerns.

County Counselor Brian Bina reviewed the policy prior to it being presented to the Commission and found no issues with it.