27 Tons And Whaddya Got ? Indiana cops on the move

From /.
“Eight different law enforcement agencies in Indiana have purchased massive Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAP) that were formerly used in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mark Alesia reports for the Indy Star. Pulaski County, home to 13,124 people, is one of the counties that have purcha**sed an 55,000 pound, six-wheeled patrol vehicles, from military surplus. When asked to justify the purchase of a former military vehicle**, Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer told the Indy Star: "The United States of America has become a war zone.”’*
Now MRAPs, next MOABs… ?
Apart from a slight alarm if I saw my local [del]fascists[/del], [del]military[/del], cops in something this size ( the $400k Caiman gifted last year to Indiana police by the federal government under the Grant-A-Wish to A Police Chief Initiative ) these things are fairly cheap ( …take advantage of massive bargains. One of the Indiana counties spent only $5,000 for its MRAP, while the government originally purchased the vehicle for $733,000 ) and I feel vaguely jealous. Every small boy would love one for his very own.

If the criminals have a sovereign right to arm themselves with AR-15s (which they’d never modify to be full-auto, no sir) and hollowpoint 30-06 and 10 gauge shotguns, the police need to respond in kind. An MRAP is pretty useless in the average domestic disturbance, but when you need to deal with a Cliven Bundy and all his little [del]Teddy[/del] Bundies it makes a lot more sense.

I’d be more worried if I thought a county of 13,000 people was going to maintain the thing properly. It’ll be an interesting exhibit at the county fair for a few years and then it’ll rust in some county parking lot.

Or it could be rented out, like a limo. Should make for some lively prom dates.

“Ya-know chief, if the town fixed the pot-holes, we wouldn’t need this…”
“Shad-dap and close the hatch!”

What’s on the end of the big arm on the those things?

Only a matter of time before they adopt urban camoflauge as their standard work uniform.

Someone, I think it was Bill Maher, showed footage of the police in Massachusetts as they were searching for the Boston bombing suspects. They were in camouflage, carrying assault weapons and using military-type armored personnel carriers. The point was that the police in America are becoming increasingly militarized, as one of the articles linked to in the OP mentions. I, for one, don’t like it.

I think it’s some sort of claw/scoop to work on, remove IED’s.

This guy thought Officer Tackleberry shooting the cat out of the tree was a training film.

Zerohedge just did an article on these police purchases across the country:
432 MRAPS of the kind the OP just discussed
93,763 machine guns


ETA; the people of Syria would like to inform Chief Gayer that he’s not in a war zone. They’re in a war zone. Chief Gayer is in a rolling masturbatorium.

Thanks. I have never heard of Neenah, WI, though it’s no doubt charming. However Wiki indicates it’s a metropolis of 25,000 souls. The City, not including the independent Town of Neenah right adjacent which has over 3000 — and no, I don’t know why you’d have a town and a city of the same name alongside.
City Data has the crime rates from 2000 to 2012 ( per 100,000 ), which includes one murder; 2 to 7 rapes a year; average 2 robberies; average 25 assaults; average 90 burglaries; average 400 thefts; average 14 car thefts; average 6 arsons.

( My guesses at averages from staring lethargically at the figures. )

From that link:
*Chief Wilkinson said he was not interested in militarizing Neenah. But officers are shot, even in small towns. If there were an affordable way to protect his people without the new truck, he would do it.

“I hate having our community divided over a law enforcement issue like this. But we are,” he said. “It drives me to my knees in prayer for the safety of this community every day. And it convinced me that this was the right thing for our community.”*
It is heartening he prays so much, but I doubt Neenah is facing the latter days yet, nor that the next iteration will be Grand Theft Auto: Neenah, Neenah.

It’s probably because he prays so much that he has this irrational reaction to current events.

Add me to the list of those who hate the militarization of the police. If only one in 10,000 of the people you face is even a threat (a number I pulled out of my ass, but it seems reasonable) what kind of message does it send that you feel the need to have more armor than many who are actually fighting in a hostile war zone?

Here is some footage of them being used in crowd control situations.

It’s armor, not a tank. An MRAP allows officers to shield themselves as they roll up on an armed standoff, or a hostage situation, or an active shooter at Walmart or the local school. Unlike Kevlar, that MRAP covers the entire body, not just the chest and upper back. And policing in a small town or rural area doesn’t protect LEOs from crime. In the past week, just for an example, my husband’s colleagues have dealt with two armed standoffs - one domestic dispute, suspect fired at deputies, was finally arrested with no injuries (other than those of the initial crime,) and one dude who didn’t report to prison as required (he killed himself.) Both of those situations ended about as well as one could hope, but I would certainly feel better if my friends had better personal protection than a Kevlar vest and a Crown Victoria when they respond to these sorts of incidents. And they happened in a county whose largest city has a population of about 9000.

Maintenance costs? Yes, they exist. A few thousand per year, probably. And that’s very, very cheap compared to the cost of injuries prevented or lives saved. The same agencies often put fire extinguishers in patrol cars, or defibrillators, and a great many of those are never, ever used, but we don’t nitpick those costs - after all, those may save a life! Officers are issued sidearms, and the majority never, ever use those outside of qualifying at the firing range - but they’re issued, because it’s a useful tool if things go bad. Body armor costs an average of about $800 per unit, and vests have to be replaced every 3-5 years, ideally. We don’t grouse about that expense, because that cost is more than recouped if one officer survives a shooting. I don’t really understand why rolling armor is “bad,” while personal armor is “good.”

It’s not as simple as “two legs bad, four legs good.” It’s the overall direction and countenance that is objectionable. Police would be even safer if they were as equipped as the military in an active war zone, complete with drones, NSA-quality signals intelligence, and full Star Wars Storm Trooper Hyper-Armor.

It should be easy to distinguish between military- and civilian-level enforcement equipment, and contextual justification–particularly speculative justification–is not satisfying.

[slaps money down on counter]

I’ll take two!

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