FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to authorize Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. to get an armored vehicle from the federal government at no cost. Commissioners also voted to allow him to buy new body armor for 14 deputies for $7,699.86.

Nichols recommended the county go with the low quote from Body Armor Outlet LLC for the gear. Three quotes were submitted.

The new armor will give deputies a defense against rifle fire, Nichols said.

Prior to the federal government shutting down, he said, the department was chosen to get an armored four-wheel drive, two-axle vehicle from the military.

The Maxxpro armored troop transport vehicle weighs 20 tons, is 10 feet wide and 21 feet long, he said. It is about as big as an oil truck and is made for soft terrain, such as in Afghanistan and Iraq. The vehicle is in tiptop shape with low mileage, he said.

The department will return a military Humvee that it acquired under the former sheriff’s administration.


Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay said they are not in Iraq or Afghanistan and questioned the use of the vehicle in Franklin County.

The vehicle could be used if law enforcement had an active shooter or in some situations that have occurred recently, including stand-offs, he said.

There was also an incident Monday night of a stolen car going through the U.S. border from Canada into Coburn Gore, he said. The vehicle didn’t stop and rammed a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle and continued on down Route 27, he said. An agent fired shots at the car but it kept on going.

The Canadian teenagers abandoned the vehicle and stole a pickup truck in Kingfield. That one went through road blocks and over two sets of spike mats before it crashed into a guardrail. The two teens were injured when they jumped over the guardrail down a rocky embankment into the Carrabassett River.

Nichols requested that when the government shutdown is over that three of the command staff travel to get the armored vehicle. He is hoping it will be in New York, he said.

McGrane questioned why three deputies need to go.


It is good to have two people in the armored vehicle and one driving behind it in case something happens, Nichols said. There will be no overtime involved, he said.

The vehicle is free and the county would be responsible for routine maintenance, he said.

McGrane said in his lifetime, “I don’t remember anything being free.”

The U.S. Department of Defense is providing the vehicles to law enforcement with one caveat: that when they are done with it to give it back, Nichols said.

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