Cedar Rapids police Capt. Steve O’Konek didn’t actually let me drive the Avenger, the bullet-stopping, Hulkish armored tactical vehicle that the police department is borrowing. Which is probably a good thing. But at least I got to have my picture taken in it. If they had only let me wear some SWAT gear and pose with an AR-15 semiautomatic…

Seriously, though, photographer Cliff Jette and I took a spin in the thing with O’Konek at wheel, and I have to say it’s something that would be great to have if there is a use for it here, which is debatable. Anyway, the thing rides like a diesel truck and is just as easy to handle. O’Konek was able to back it into a parking space with only one hand on the wheel. It could easily run over small obstacles and get up to where it could rescue victims. And it could comfortably fit about half a police SWAT team inside it.

It left us this week. Sad. We never got to run over anything in it, either.

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