GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – The Albany County Sheriff's Office used a new, armored vehicle for the first time during the Town of Knox standoff Wednesday to keep first responders safe.
Kenneth Fortuin, 49, of Knox set his house on fire late Wednesday night and threated to harm first responders during a standoff that lasted until Thursday morning.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple credited the new piece of equipment, or M-RAP, for keeping the situation under control. He said he wanted all responders protected during the incident.
"A lot of these situations don't end well," he said. "We don't want people rushing in when we don't know what we have."
Their plan of action was to corner the suspect who was outside of the home in a vehicle, according to police.
Apple said they were able to get close with the help of the M-RAP and a similar vehicle State Police had at the scene.
"Between their vehicle and our vehicle, the Humvee; he couldn't have moved," Apple said. "We've taken a lot of heat over the M-RAP, but quite honestly, without that vehicle we might not have had this conclusion."
The M-RAP stands 11 feet high and 8.5 feet wide, and it cost $500,000.
Apple said officers would've had to stayed back without the vehicle.
"We were able to get very close, very safe, monitor everything, and knew where he was," he said.
The fully armored exterior and massive size makes the M-RAP look like an intimidating military vehicle.
"They could have shot at that vehicle last night," Apple continued. "Our officers were not in any danger."
Apple said the sheriff's office hopes they don't have to use the M-RAP often, but they're glad they have it as a resource that's readily available.
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