Open House set Thursday at CCPD

JONESBORO — There will be a bearcat at Thursday’s annual Open House at Clayton County Police Department but there’s no need for alarm.

The department will be unveiling a new weapon in the war against crime in Clayton County — a Lenco BEARCAT, an acronym for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck. Lt. Marc Richards said the BEARCAT is an armored personnel carrier designed specifically for law enforcement that is in use worldwide. The new vehicle weighs 8.5 tons and is 20 feet long by 10 feet wide by 12 feet high and carries a crew of 12 SWAT team members.

The carrier was paid for in part with a $90,000 grant from Urban Area Security Initiative, said Richards.

Clayton County residents are invited to inspect the carrier during the open house, from 5 to 8 p.m., at police headquarters at 7911 N. McDonough St. in Jonesboro.

Included in the open house is a tour of the headquarters, other equipment displays and demonstrations, and hamburgers and hot dogs. There will also be bouncy houses, treats and pedal carts for DUI simulations.

But the main attraction is expected to be the BEARCAT. Richards said the vehicle is used primarily for transporting tactical officers to and from hostile situations, and to assist with the recovery and protection of civilians in harm’s way during terrorist threats, hostage incidents or encounters with armed offenders.

“This new member of the Clayton County crime-fighting team is an awesome addition to the Clayton County Police Department fleet and will be a great asset in helping to protect the citizens of this county,” Richards said.