” Coming soon to your local sheriff: 18-ton, armor-protected military fighting vehicles with gun turrets and bulletproof glass that were once the U.S. answer to roadside bombs during the Iraq war.
The hulking vehicles, built for about $500,000 each at the height of the war, are among the biggest pieces of equipment that the Defense Department is giving to law enforcement agencies under a national military surplus program.”
” 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 was 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 some cost of retrofitting them for civilian use and fueling the 36,000-pound behemoths that get about 5 miles to the gallon.
The American Civil Liberties Union is criticizing 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, planning to issue a report early next year.”
The Federal government is broke , yet it has money to burn when it comes to “giving away” billions of dollars worth of military equipment to local police departments . Remember that nothing is free and all “gifts” , especially those from the State , come with a hefty price tag buried in the fine print .
” An Associated Press investigation of the Defense Department military surplus program this year found that a disproportionate share of the $4.2 billion worth of property distributed since 1990 – everything from blankets to bayonets and Humvees – has been obtained by police and sheriff’s departments in rural areas with few officers and little crime.”
” After the initial 165 of the MRAP trucks were distributed this year, military officials say police have requests in for 731 more, but none are available.
Others in New York that got big armored trucks included sheriff’s departments in Jefferson County, Steuben County and Sullivan County, and police in Nassau County, Plattsburgh and Hamburg Village. Police departments statewide have also acquired almost 150 other trucks and Humvees, a dozen of them armored, over the past two years.”
The militarization of our local police departments though the “benevolent” machinations of the Federal government is something that should be a unifying factor amidst all the partisan rancor that is the politics of America today . This is all battlespace preparation on the Fed’s part and should be recognized as such by all , whether Democrat or Republican .
Below are a few basic facts regarding the latest New York counties that feel the need to possess mine-resistant , ambush-protected armored vehicles in order to protect their citizens from … ? Iraqi IED’s? , Taliban RPG’s ? The local meth dealer’s 9mm ? From Wikipedia
Albany County 001 Albany 1683 One of 12 original counties created in the New York colonyJames II of England (James VII of Scotland) (1633–1701), who was Duke of York (English title) and Duke of Albany (Scottish title) before becoming King of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Population 304,204 , 533 sq mi
Jefferson County 045 Watertown 1805 Oneida County Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), the early American statesman, author of the Declaration of Independence, and third President of the United States. Population 116,2291, 857 sq mi
Steuben County 101 Bath 1796 Ontario County Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1730–1794), the Prussian general who assisted the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Population 98,9901, 404 sq mi
Sullivan County 105 Monticello 1809 Ulster County John Sullivan (1740–1795), an American Revolutionary War general. Population 77,547 , 997 sq mi
Warren County 113 Queensbury 1813 Washington County Joseph Warren (1741–1775), the early American patriot and American Revolutionary War general. Population 65,707 , 870 sq mi
As the reader can plainly see from the above map and county statistics none of the counties , with the possible exception of Albany , would reasonably be considered prime terrorist targets yet the local constabulary are arming hemselves for war . For further background on the MRAP and it’s war making/surviving capabilities , the reader is encouraged to click here .