Doesn’t your town have a tank yet?
Continuing the militarization of American law enforcement, more and more of the smallest towns are acquiring the most intimidating armored vehicles, including the MRAP or Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored personnel vehicle.
Will someone tell me why Barney Fife needs one of these?
For the past few years, the Pentagon has been giving these vehicles to police departments across the country. The unwieldy behemoths have little real application in domestic police work. They’re designed for use on a battlefield. (The Pentagon offers no training to police departments when it gives the vehicles away.
But police departments are snatching them up. It’s part of the general trend toward more militarized domestic police forces that’s been happening since about the early 1980s.
Below, I’ve assembled a quick (but by no means comprehensive) rundown of towns and counties to have recently required an MRAP from the Defense Department. But we want to find the tiniest town in America whose police force will be protected from any potential insurgent uprising. So far, the leading contender is Dundee, Mich., a sprawling metropolis of 3,900 people.
Towns and counties that have recently acquired an MRAP:
Lyon County, Nev. (population: 51,000)
Watertown, Conn. (population 22,000)
Walla Walla, Wash. (population: 32,000)
Michigan City, Ind. (population: 31,000)
Mason City, Iowa (population: 28,000)
Madison, Ind. (population 12,000)
Willimantic, Conn. (population: 18,000)
Cape Girardeau, Mo. (population: 39,000)
Story County, Iowa (population: 91,000)
Manteca, Calif. (population: 71,000)
Jasper County, Iowa (population: 36,000)
Justice, Ill. (population: 13,000)
Dodge County, Wis. (population: 88,000)
Roanoke Rapids, N.C. (population: 16,000)
Nampa, Idaho (population: 83,900)
Merrillville, Ind. (population: 35,600)
St. Cloud, Minn. (population: 66,000)
Warren County, N.Y. (population: 65,500)
North Augusta, S.C. (population: 22,000)
Eureka, Calif. (population 27,000)
Not only is this useless to your community, it will require additional costs in the training of personnel to operate this beast and constant costly maintenance to keep it operational. That’s your tax dollars at work my friend.
The folks who operate this, can’t wait to use it, trust me.