FARMINGTON -- The BearCat is a tool to protect, not a tool to attack, says Davis County Sheriff's Lt. Dave Bremer.
That is why the unique, aggressive-looking vehicle was heavily used by law enforcement authorities in the Boston area as they searched for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
"Whether they are on national news (with a BearCat) or not, we feel as validated as providing the vehicle, as providing deputies with bullet proof vest," Bremer said.
The armor-plated vehicle has become more visible in its use by law enforcement agencies, including the Davis sheriff's office and other Northern Utah police agencies.
"This thing is meant as a protective shield. It is unique. It is different looking, but it is a tool," he said.
The Davis sheriff's office was criticized by some when deputies used its armored BearCat on Feb. 25 to perform a pit maneuver during a slow-speed car chase on Interstate 15 that ended with the armed motorist being shot and killed by police.
Some found the $250,000 armored vehicle a bit heavy-handed, militaristic and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
"It's a delivery vehicle. Our BearCat has no weaponry. The only time the vehicle is armed is when I step into it with my weapon," Bremer said.
In Boston, police did not know if the suspect had a weapon or more explosives, Bremer said, which justifies the use of the armored vehicle.
"I'd rather be in an armored vehicle based on the aggressive action of the situation."