The police department of a small college town in California was overjoyed when they received a $700,000 armored vehicle as a gift from the federal government. Davis police chief Landy Black called the MRAP, a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, “perfect to perform rescues of victims and potential victims during active shooter incidents.”
The federal government, as well as local police departments, have used the Ferguson riots as proof for why law enforcement should have military-grade weaponry at their disposal. The Davis Police Department already has a hefty stockpile of rifles, body armor and riot helmets. What’s a measly MRAP going to do at this point?
In the same way that the government has used the Ferguson race riots as the poster child for militarizing the police, Davis residents used it as an example for exactly why not to do just that. Davis locals don’t believe law enforcement should have armored vehicles and other weapons more likely to be seen in foreign war zones.
The Davis City Council has ordered Black to get rid of his MRAP after an uproar from patriots who don’t want their local law enforcement turned against them, as many argue happened after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
Davis Mayor, Dan Wolk remarked:
“This thing has a turret — it’s the kind of thing that is used in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our community is the kind of community that is not going to take well to having this kind of vehicle. We are not a crime-ridden city. When it comes to help from Washington, we — like most communities — have a long wish list. But a tank, or MRAP, or whatever you choose to call it, is not on that list.”
Wolk makes an excellent point. If the feds wanted to offer his town $700,000 worth of assistance, there are plenty of ways that money could have been better spent.
Police Departments statewide are taking note or what has happened in Davis and bracing themselves for similar outcomes in their respective communities. California has one of the highest concentrations of surplus military equipment in the nation. This is not entirely surprising, given the population and crime rates of megacities like Los Angeles, coupled with the fact that California has been run into the ground by liberals.
Still, small towns in California have been just as heavily armed as huge cities like L.A., despite the fact that there is little to no need for such armament in virtually crime-free areas. Sheriff Bill Brown of Santa Barbara County, one such area of particularly low crime, voiced his support for militarizing the police force, saying:
“The reality is that this is a great program. It provides law enforcement with a lot of very valuable equipment that in many instances — in fact, most instances — could not be obtained or afforded, and allows us to do a better job of protecting our citizens and our own public safety personnel.”
The fact that California police departments are being increasingly militarized should be of particular concern to residents of the state when you consider the fact that they are also victims of some of the most strict gun control laws in the nation. Should a Martial Law situation ever arise, the likelihood of which is probable considering the current administration, Californians would be at the mercy of law enforcement armed to the hilt.
Do you think it is at all appropriate for the police department of a relatively small town to have at it’s disposal an MRAP? Tell us in the comments section!
H/T: Columbus Dispatch