LINCOLNTON – VT LeeBoy was tasked with a special operation by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) earlier this summer – the crew was asked to paint the county’s new Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.
The vehicle, according to a LCSO press release, was given to local law enforcement via the 1033 Program, a federal program that distributes excess military equipment to local agencies.
LeeBoy, which produces motorized grading equipment, has a paint booth that “features state-of- the-art equipment and boasts of a large footprint that would easily accommodate the MRAP vehicle,” making them a great fit for the task, though the team had install additional support to hold the weight of the 40,000-pound vehicle, according to a press release from LCSO.
The release also states that Gary Beaver, paint production manager at LeeBoy, knew his 12-person team could handle the task and estimated they’d need about 80 hours and 20 gallons of paint to get the job done.
“When contacting our vendor Sherwin Williams,” Beaver said in the release, “to purchase the specialized flat-black paint and tell our local sales representative about the exciting project, I was grateful when they offered to donate the paint in order to show their company’s support as well.”
The vehicle had been a sandy neutral color, a paint scheme “reflecting its many tours in the Middle East,” the release stated. The 1033 Program requires vehicles to be repainted for local law enforcement’s use, so LCSO requested a matte-black color.
The team at LeeBoy took on the task for free, and Carpenter later wrote in an email that the gesture “save taxpayers thousands of dollars.”
Vice President of Operations Shannon Seymour said in the press release that “Sheriff David Carpenter and his officers have been onsite at the LeeBoy facility countless times to provide support to our company and we jumped at the opportunity to return the favor.”
The sheriff’s office has worked with LeeBoy to provide security for special events, host active-shooter and emergency response training and help with other emergency services.
According to the release, the sheriff's department will be using the MRAP vehicle in high-risk situations, including “hostile environments with armed subjects.” The former military tank can
can also be utilized during natural disasters as a high-water rescue vehicle due to the capabilities and weight of the vehicle,” the release states.
The painted vehicle was presented to LCSO in June with a ceremony at LeeBoy where Carpenter was able to meet the team that put in the work to complete the project. And according to the release, Carpenter also presented the LeeBoy crew with a plaque of appreciation from the LCSO.