CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The off-road capabilities of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department just went up as deputies got two new Polaris off-road utility vehicles.
"Polaris is one of the top-of-the-line UTV manufacturers," said sheriff's department Capt. Sean Crosier. The sheriff's department paid about $22,000 total for the vehicles, with the money supplied by the Kanawha County Commission.
Although Crosier said the department got a good deal on the two UTVs, "It's tough to place a value on these when you need them," he said. "When you need them, you really need them."
One of the two vehicles, a tan heavy-duty military two-seat model, will be used primarily to haul equipment for the sheriff's department SWAT and bomb teams.
It will also be useful for getting to people in remote areas during floods. The undercarriage of the vehicle is sealed, and it will ford 30 inches of water.
Crosier said the other UTV can safely carry six people, even if they're wearing handcuffs.
"We've had some high-profile investigations out in rural areas where even four-wheel-drives have had trouble getting in," Crosier said.
In April, "Buckwild" TV cast member Shain Gandee and two companions were found off a trail near Sissonville, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning after getting stuck in the mud in Gandee's four-wheel drive. Crosier said the site was extremely remote, and would have been prime territory for one of the new UTVs.