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Friday, August 29, 2014

Is This Really What the Friendly City Needs?

One of 13,000 MRAP vehicles offered free by the Pentagon
I'm not sure whether the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle shown here looks exactly like the one the city of Harrisonburg recently received from the Pentagon, but it's probably close.

The rationale for acquiring this appears to be that if anything costing $500,000 or more can be gotten for free, that it's just too good to pass up. Meanwhile the City Council this week approved getting $30,000 in state money to refurbish and repaint this "gift" in preparation for its use by the Police Department, in spite of high fuel consumption and frequent roll overs having been problems in combat use. After all, it's all free, right?

I probably shouldn't be questioning this. How would I know when or whether our local police might encounter dangerous mines on our streets or be threatened with an ambush while carrying out their duties? 

I still can't help wondering, though, whether when it comes to this way of arming a police force the City should just say, "Thanks, but no Tanks".
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