LEE COUNTY, Fl. - The swamps of Southwest Florida are Corporal Randy Hodges patrolling ground and now, no matter how tall the grass, high the water, or hidden the fugitive.
"We tried to think of every scenario possible," Corporal Hodges says.
The brand new swamp buggy will help them get the job done.
"We wouldn't be able to go through on our trucks right now if we had to do a rescue mission or if we have a crime scene in here or if an aircraft went down... with the buggy this allows us to be able to enter these swampy areas," he adds.
The buggy sits about six feet off the ground. On board are all the things you would see in a deputy's car like a radio and GPS system.
"In this box we have our AED, our tool bags, ropes... we have our gun locker box on this side," he adds.
Hodges says there's also room for reinforcements depending on the call.
"We can put multiple deputies on the buggy... if we're after a fugitive or even with a search and rescue we can put ems personnel on here," he adds.
Lee County is only the fourth agency in Southwest Florida to have a swamp buggy. Until now, if their trucks couldn't get through, deputies would have to call in another agency, sometimes adding more than 2 hours to their response time. Now that won't be a problem.
The buggy it's costing taxpayers a cent. Corporal Hodges says money seized from drug busts paid the entire 37-thousand dollar bill.
The buggy has already completed its first mission. During President Obama's visit, deputies used the buggy to patrol the woods around RSW.