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Eastern Idaho Police Respond to Tensions at POW/MIA Rally With Armored Vehicle

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An increasing number of BearCat armored vehicles are being used by U.S. police agencies.
  • An increasing number of BearCat armored vehicles are being used by U.S. police agencies.


When eastern Idaho law enforcement received a tip of a brewing altercation between two rival motorcycle clubs at a POW/MIA awareness rally July 25, the cops rolled in with some big wheels of their own—a BearCat armored vehicle.

This morning's Idaho State Journal reports a spokesman for the Bannock County Sheriff's Office said police had "good intelligence" about tensions at the scene and, "Our purpose was to be able to stage and contain it." As a result, the BCSO was joined by the Southeast Idaho Special Tactics and Response team and SWAT teams from Bonneville County and the city of Pocatello.

The Journal reports that flood lights were positioned around the Pocatello campground that was hosting the rally, attended by as many as 125 members of the Mongols and Brother Speed biker clubs, and the road leading into the campground was blocked. Police said there was only a brief verbal confrontation and the situation de-escalated.

“We knew that they were armed and thought our best bet would be a show of force,” Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen told the Journal. “And it worked. I’m proud of what we did. No one was hurt and no one was arrested.”

Nielsen added that Pocatello was a "gate city" for outlaw motorcycle gangs. "These groups are trying to set up territory in southeast Idaho to carry out their agenda," he told the Journal.