During an officer involved shooting and subsequent barricaded subject incident in Middleborough in May 2018, the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) SWAT unit was called to the scene.
The SEMLEC SWAT Unit mobilized and responded to the town with several SWAT unit members, a negotiator and three of their vehicles – the Mobile Command Center, the Rook and the Bearcat.
One of the lasting images in the TV news reports that followed was that of a battering ram on the Rook breaking down a garage door of a home where a man had barricaded himself. In at least one report, the Rook was referred to as a “tank-like” vehicle.
In order to help residents and members of the media understand the strategy behind the use of these vehicles and as a way to inform the public, JGPR arranged for the three vehicles used in the Middleboro standoff – the Mobile Command Center, the Rook and the Bearcat – to go to a location in Carver, MA where media members could come and get an up-close view of the vehicles, be shown demonstrations of how they work and even go for rides inside of the Bearcat.
JGPR also arranged for two of the SEMLEC command chiefs to be at the event to speak on behalf of the organization and explain that these vehicles were “armored, not armed” and are used as a way to keep officers safe during the most dangerous of incidents.
The “show and tell” event led to prominent news segments on two of Boston’s nightly newscasts that evening, as well as a cover story in a Sunday edition of the local newspaper, with a full two-page spread, including three articles and several photos.
All of the coverage was overwhelmingly positive and talked about how these vehicles are vital in keeping officers and the public safe during the most dangerous situations.