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Thread: More Defense surplus equipment heading to local police departments; ACLU concerned

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    More Defense surplus equipment heading to local police departments; ACLU concerned

    For police and sheriff’s departments, which have scooped up 165 of the mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, or MRAPs, since they became available this summer, the price and the ability to deliver shock and awe while serving warrants or dealing with hostage standoffs were just too good to pass up.“It’s armored. It’s heavy. It’s intimidating. And it’s free,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, among five county sheriff’s departments and three other police agencies in New York that have taken delivery of an MRAP.But the trucks have limits. They are too big to travel on some bridges and roads and have a tendency to be tippy on uneven ground. And then there’s the cost of retrofitting them for civilian use and fueling the 36,000-pound behemoths that get about five miles to the gallon.The American Civil Liberties Union criticizes what it sees as the increasing militarization of the nation’s police. ACLU affiliates have been collecting 2012 records to determine the extent of military hardware and tactics acquired by police and plan to issue a report early next year. “One of our concerns with this is it has a tendency to escalate violence,” said ACLU Center for Justice senior counsel Kara Dansky.
    More Defense surplus equipment heading to local police departments; ACLU concerned - The Washington Post

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    “One of our concerns with this is it has a tendency to escalate violence,” said ACLU Center for Justice senior counsel Kara Dansky.
    Um, what?
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    I want an MRAP to drive through traffic jams with.
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    Gee, how odd that the ACLU wasn't so concerned about violence when a domestic terrorist targeted my department for over a year, trying to kill officers (at work and at their homes) and burning police department buildings. They can just swivel off with their "concerns".
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    When dealing with the ACLU fuck the ACLU.
    adroitcuffs, Twan007, pgg and 1 others like this.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

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    While it is easy to get caught up in the hype and buzzwords/phrase such as "the militarization of police" and "escalates violence" etc, things that should really be asked would be:

    Does the military need these vehicles? Is the military spending money to replace these vehicles that are giving away? Answers-In general yes, the military needs these TYPES of vehicles, but not likely these specific ones. Combat ops are drawing down and the military is downsizing (sources can be cited but I am currently lazy ). The military is almost certainly facing a plethora of these vehicles. That makes the second answer most likely a no, unless these vehicles are obsolete in which case, does it matter?

    What are police departments spending on them and what would a special vehicle tailored to law enforcement's needs cost? Answer-nothing or virtually nothing (research Pentagon 1033 program) to acquire, some amount of money to retrofit (things needed from articles I read-removing the gun turret, re-painting and branding, lights/sirens/loudspeakers etc, would all go into any vehicle) Second question-I have no idea what a tailor made vehicle would cost, but I'm willing to bet more than a retrofit.

    What are the police needs and are these vehicles capable of them? This is a question I can't answer, but I'm suspecting that the primary need here is a vehicle that can operate in most conditions, that is capable of transporting several people, and is armored. While the MRAP's are probably not (from a police perspective, and I'm only speculating) the perfect vehicle, the areas in which it is cross-functional and the price point probably make this an excellent program.


    What would you rather see happen with the military surplus? If these vehicles still have design features that are confidential or classified, they won't go to DRMO for auction. They would either be destroyed or sit around. Even if the military isn't recouping cost on the unneeded units, they probably wouldn't anyway, and the savings are being passed on to the local tax payers.


    Now that being said, I could certainly see local quartermasters who are like me, and just want a freakin' MRAP and are trying to acquring them because they can, not because there is an actual need lol. Not that I'd really have a problem with that anyway, but I'm sure that is probably few and far between if it actually happening, and probably getting weeded out by senior leadership/civilian oversight anyway.
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