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Interesting coincidence

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Emergency Services Vehicles

Interesting coincidence

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 8, 2011


Yesterday a reader sent me a link to a news article about the militarizing of police, and what should appear on the front page of this morning's Northwest Herald? A picture of MARV, the "mobile armored rescue vehicle" of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department.

MARV was pressed into action during a Cary stand-off, along with the S.W.A.T. team. The boys got to go and play yesterday. How was the stand-off resolved? A friend of Frank Vantrepotte, 35, was talking to him on the phone and asked him to step outside and surrender.

How did MARV get from Woodstock to Cary? Was it driven there?

When I viewed MARV last year at a publicity function at the Woodstock Harley-Davidson dealership, I noticed that there were no license plates on MARV. At the time I wondered how it got to the dealership, but I didn't ask. It didn't look "street legal" to me. I could not see any windshield wipers, and the lights didn't appear to meet the Illinois Vehicle Code.

So, can MARV be operated legally on streets and roads in Illinois? The answer is a simple Yes or No.

And, if the answer is No, then why is it being operated on streets and roads? Because no cop is brave enough to ticket the operator of MARV?

You may have read the news article about tickets placed on fire trucks n Pittsburgh while firefighters were getting flu shots. The firetrucks were parked illegally in permit-only spaces reserved for City Council members. The Mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, was wrong when he said tickets should not have been issued.

Getting a flu shot is something that employees take care of on personal time. Yet Pittsburgh firefighters drove City fire trucks to City Hall to get their shots.



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