MARINETTE — The City of Marinette Public Safety and Code Enforcement Committee followed through on a proposed agreement with Marinette County that promises to afford local city and county law enforcement officials and tactical response teams an add level of safety and effectiveness when it comes to a wide array potential emergencies. The agreement comes in the form of the joint operation of a Lenco Armored Rescue Vehicle (ARV). The vehicle serves as an armored personnel carrier for situations that might involve armed hostages or other high-risk scenarios.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the City,” said Public Safety Chairperson Jeffrey Skorik. “And I am happy to see it after all the years of talking about it.” 

Spelled out in a memorandum of understanding (MOU), the agreement creates a shared-use contract between county and city law enforcement agencies for a refurbished $180,000 Lenco Armored Rescue Vehicle (ARV). The county will provide complete funding for its purchase and maintain ownership over the vehicle. At its Jan. 14 meeting, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the transfer of funds from its contingency budget for the purchase of the ARV. Additionally, the county promises to provide the storage location for the ARV at the County Law Enforcement Center. 

Officials from both departments attended Monday’s city Public Safety Committee meeting and offered strong support for such a cooperative arrangement between both agencies.

Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve sat in on the meeting and commented that the purchase of such a vehicle remained “a long time in coming.” He told committee members that it will provide additional safety not only for officers on the front lines of emergency response, but the public to whom they serve.

“I think it going to be a big improvement to (both) our agencies and the work we do that is dangerous at times,” Sauve said. “And not only for our own people but for those people who find themselves in certain situations.”

Capable of resisting a 50-caliber rifle, as well as functioning as an efficiently mobile vehicle that can travel at highway speeds, the ARV carries additional benefits. A big part of those benefits grows from fostering of a more cooperative relationship among county and city law enforcement agencies.

“We are looking forward to it … to continuing our good relationship to work together,” Sauve said. “One of the key points here, (is that) neither agency has an unlimited number of special response-trained team officers … so we need to work together. It is just smart to do that.”   

If, and when, an emergency arises requiring the capabilities of the ARV, the vehicle will be available for immediate deployment by either city or county agency — or both if necessary. The ARV will also be available to each agency for purposes of training, public relations, mutual aid and maintenance. The city will acquire insurance coverage for the vehicle and provide invoices to the county regarding reimbursement for the county’s share cost of that insurance. Finally, the MOU stipulates that both agencies agree to share costs associated with manning the ARV.

Monday night, the city’s Public Safety Committee approved a motion to support a recommendation for the City Council’s approval of the MOU. 

Only a few minor details remain to solidify the agreement, including the signatures of the City of Marinette Mayor Steve Genisot, Marinette County Clerk Kathy Brandt and law enforcement officials from both the city and county agencies.