Why Do the Police Need this MRAP?

Lately I have been hearing a lot of chatter about local police forces, nation wide, receiving the “gift” of armored military trucks from the federal government surplused from war. (2,717 MRAP vehicles via US Navy awards contract M67854-07-D-5032  Jan. 9, 2012).  For example here, here, and here for starters (there are many additional articles).

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photo credit: Sentinel Tribune instagram via twitter

Then it happened. This morning the local newspaper‘s twitter feed reported that the county I live in has received it’s lovely gift, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (aka “MRAP”).

“The Wood County Sheriff’s Office’s new MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle, to be used by the Wood County Special Response Team (SRT). The armored vehicle, formerly used as a communications vehicle by the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, is on loan to the Sheriff’s Office at no charge, and is replacing a former SRT vehicle from 1983. All monies used to retrofit the vehicle for the SRT came out of the the drug fund”. – Sentinel Tribune

According to this NYT article, this vehicle was “developed for the military to protect troops from improvised explosive devices, land mines and other sneak attacks, to respond to natural disasters and terrorist attacks.”

I find this unsettling. I wonder what they believe will happen. But there is a part of me that also thinks I know. Financial collapse & chaos? Terrorism? I feel like I am a fictional character in a book sometimes. What a strange America it is becoming!

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