A DOD-loaned MRAP vehicle. (Photo: Fort Pierce PD)

A DOD-loaned MRAP vehicle. (Photo: Fort Pierce PD)

Not long after police used an armored vehicle acquired from the military to arrest a man authorities said fired an assault rifle at officers, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval poked his head inside a media briefing about the incident Thursday night.

“How do they like the tank now?” Koval asked.

“The tank” began its life as a mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle used by the military, but it has since been re-branded by Madison police as an Armored Rescue Vehicle, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

It has been the subject of controversy for months after the department accepted it as part of a military surplus program.

But on Thursday night, police said, it played a pivotal role: Getting officers closer to the home of 53-year-old gunman Robert G. Carder Jr., who had fired at police with a rifle from a window.

Authorities have credited the armored vehicle for helping them arrest Carder without using force, and without injury to either Carder or police.