Author Topic: Should Local Law Enforcement Have War Vehicles? Here’s the Most Recent Case Out of Utah  (Read 698 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/24/should-local-enforcement-have-war-vehicles-heres-the-most-recent-case-out-of-utah/

Should Local Law Enforcement Have War Vehicles? Here’s the Most Recent Case Out of Utah
Jan. 24, 2014 9:30pm Elizabeth Kreft


Utah law enforcement officers now have wartime equipment at their disposal.

The Taylorsville, Utah, Highway Patrol recently acquired a new mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) armored vehicle from the Department of Defense. The 14-ton machines were designed to survive land mine threats and withstand improvised explosive device (IED) attacks. Now the highway patrol crew envisions driving them “right through the middle of a gunfight.”
Military MRAPs Given to Utah Law Enforcement, Militarization of Police



U.S. Army Spc. Jonathan Cepeda, a security force member of the Guam Army National Guard assigned to the Farah Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), signals to the driver of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle to park after returning to Farah from Herat, Afghanistan, Feb. 1, 2010. MRAPs like these are being turned over to law enforcement agencies who participate in the DoD’s Excess Property Program. (Credit: DoD)

The DoD 1033 is managed through the Defense Logistics Agency’s Law Enforcement Support Office, and under federal law allows surplus military equipment to be handed over to state and local civilian law enforcement agencies for use in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations, or to enhance officer safety.

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Alex Lepley appreciated the size advantage the huge vehicles offer. “Obviously, it is intimidating,” Lepley said, “but that isn’t its primary purpose. It’s saving lives. I can drive this right through the middle of a gunfight.”

But with nearly 13,000 agencies in all 50 states and four U.S. territories participating in the program, it raises concerns  for some civil libertarians that the militarization of police and law enforcement is beyond the point of no return.

Connor Boyack, president of the Libertas Institute of Utah, said he’s concerned the program gives Utah police a financial incentive to use more violent tactics than they otherwise might in an era when crime and police officer deaths are declining, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

 
Quote
  “The data I’ve seen is that the risk is decreasing, and yet the tools of defense are gearing up,” Boyack said.

    The sheriffs and police chiefs who subscribe to the program say they are trying to protect the public and their officers.

    “I look out for the rights of my deputies,” said Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower, whose office also received an MRAP. “They have the right to be protected in the dangerous work that they do.”

    The MRAP is not the only gift Utah law enforcement agencies have received from the military. In the two-year period beginning in October 2011, Utah police received 1,230 rifles, according to records the Defense Department provided to The Tribune.



Utah law enforcement officials obtained at least 4 grenade launchers through the Defense Logistics Agency’s Law Enforcement Support Office – it is unclear which style of grenade launcher was acquired, then again, does it matter? (Credit: DoD)

According to an April 2013 audit, Utah police possessed $2.8 million of weapons and other military gear received through the program, including four grenade launchers, 17 .45-caliber pistols and a handful of magazines and weapon accessories.

So the question is, what will happen when the first U.S. civilian is killed by local law enforcement using this equipment? The Salt Lake City Tribune reports there’s no available documentation to confirm or deny anyone in Utah has been shot or killed with weapons from the 1033 Program, and a Defense Department spokesman told The Blaze he was “not aware of any” legal suits brought against the DoD regarding the program.
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The Los Angeles Police Department has a  Cadillac Gage Commando is a 4x4 amphibious armored car built by the American firm Cadillac Gage. In place of a turret, they have placed a battering ram at the end of it.

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The Los Angeles Police Department has a  Cadillac Gage Commando is a 4x4 amphibious armored car built by the American firm Cadillac Gage. In place of a turret, they have placed a battering ram at the end of it.

Handy in no go areas and for making an abrupt entrance to a fortified dwelling.
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Offline rangerrebew

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  • “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them
Handy in no go areas and for making an abrupt entrance to a fortified dwelling.

Like a tea party headquarters, a right to life headquarters, a conservative's house? :whistle:
There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
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Like a tea party headquarters, a right to life headquarters, a conservative's house? :whistle:

Or a drug lab, a gang hangout, a chop shop.  :whistle:

 :laugh: In a high crime city with "no go" areas, I can see the utility of having one. Of course, that means you need to be able to trust the cops - which is a risky proposition in some places.
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Or a drug lab, a gang hangout, a chop shop:whistle:

 :laugh: In a high crime city with "no go" areas, I can see the utility of having one. Of course, that means you need to be able to trust the cops - which is a risky proposition in some places.
I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing there aren't quite so many of those in Utah as in, say, New York City.
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I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing there aren't quite so many of those in Utah as in, say, New York City.

Very true. But the quote referenced the LAPD - they have more than enough of those to keep yon tank busy for years.
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Offline Chieftain

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The point that is completely missed here is how much blood and treasure it cost to develop and quickly produce the MRAP and its various types and get them deployed into Iraq and Afghanistan.  This one vehicle alone has saved more lives of our soldiers who were being attacked by IEDs and slaughtered wholesale in their Hummers.

Giving these to local law enforcement is like swatting a mosquito using a Finnish .338 Lapua bullet.....

 :smokin:
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 10:27:39 AM by Chieftain »

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Giving these to local law enforcement is like swatting a mosquito using a Finnish .338 Lapua bullet.....
Okay, why did this scene just spring to mind:
Quote
Roy  (voice over): The mosquito's a clever little bastard. You can track him for days and days until you really get to know him like a friend. He knows you're there, and you know he's there. It's a game of wits. You hate him, then you respect him, then you kill him. 

 Cut to Hank Spim who stands peering toward the horizon. Suddenly he points. 

Voice Over:  Suddenly Hank spots the mosquito they're after. 

 Dramatic music. Crash zoom along Hank's eyeline to as big a close-up as we can get of a patch in a perfectly ordinary field. Cut back to Hank and Roy starting to crawl towards some bushes. 

Voice Over:  Now more than ever, they must rely on the skills they have learnt from a lifetime's hunting. (tense music, as they worm their way forward) Hank gauges the wind. (shot of Hank doing complicated wind gauging biz.) Roy examines the mosquito's spoor. (shot of Roy examining the ground intently) Then ... (Roy fires a bazooka. Hank fires off a machine gun; a series of almighty explosions in the small patch of field; the gunfire stops and the smoke begins to clear) It's a success. The mosquito now is dead. (Hank and Roy approach the scorched and blackened patch in the field) But Roy must make sure. (Roy points machine gun at head of mosquito and fires off another few rounds) 

Roy:  There's nothing more dangerous than a wounded mosquito. 
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The point that is completely missed here is how much blood and treasure it cost to develop and quickly produce the MRAP and its various types and get them deployed into Iraq and Afghanistan.  This one vehicle alone has saved more lives of our soldiers who were being attacked by IEDs and slaughtered wholesale in their Hummers.

Giving these to local law enforcement is like swatting a mosquito using a Finnish .338 Lapua bullet.....

 :smokin:

True.

On the flip side, keeping them running keeps the skilled workers producing the needed spares. Every time some cop ramps one or rolls one - and they will, they are sods to drive, the designers will be out to check in disbelief. It keeps the capacity going and will help turn a solid bit of kit into a solid bit of kit that is also idiot proof.  :laugh:
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Offline Charlespg

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Quote
        “The data I’ve seen is that the risk is decreasing, and yet the tools of defense are gearing up,” Boyack said.

    The sheriffs and police chiefs who subscribe to the program say they are trying to protect the public and their officers.

    “I look out for the rights of my deputies,” said Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower, whose office also received an MRAP. “They have the right to be protected in the dangerous work that they do.”

    The MRAP is not the only gift Utah law enforcement agencies have received from the military. In the two-year period beginning in October 2011, Utah police received 1,230 rifles, according to records the Defense Department provided to The Tribune.       
Ok sheriff then lawabiding citzens should have the right to one of these or some these



 or these

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Ok sheriff then lawabiding citzens should have the right to one of these or some these


Not if she fires it like that. Unless they are trying to save money on a nose job!  :laugh:
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Offline Charlespg

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Not if she fires it like that. Unless they are trying to save money on a nose job!  :laugh:
:silly:
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Offline Atomic Cow

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There are parts of Houston where the cops wouldn't even want to take one of these things, because it would get jacked.
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Offline Chieftain

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True.

On the flip side, keeping them running keeps the skilled workers producing the needed spares. Every time some cop ramps one or rolls one - and they will, they are sods to drive, the designers will be out to check in disbelief. It keeps the capacity going and will help turn a solid bit of kit into a solid bit of kit that is also idiot proof.  :laugh:

I should add that while the MRAP is very effective in Iraq where the roads are relatively flat, the MRAP is almost useless in Afghanistan because of the terrain.  They actually redesigned it and came up with the MRAP-ATV that was lighter and capable of negotiating steep rocky hills off road.


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I should add that while the MRAP is very effective in Iraq where the roads are relatively flat, the MRAP is almost useless in Afghanistan because of the terrain.  They actually redesigned it and came up with the MRAP-ATV that was lighter and capable of negotiating steep rocky hills off road.

The ATV variant was well after my time. So they came up with a semi-idiot proof one!  :laugh:

Seriously though - I can see both sides of this. Do you want police having military grade equipment? It's tempting to the wannabes and the thugs in uniform. They got these toys, they are going to use them is the (frequently too accurate) fear.
Yet, at the same time - there are zones in most big cities that would put Kosovo to shame. You going to clean them out? Your LEOs will need serious gear and the Army is practically giving it away. It's already paid for, may as well use it, especially on the southern borders. The Cartels are not shy of technology - they have adapting trucks into APC's down to an art form now.
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Handy in no go areas and for making an abrupt entrance to a fortified dwelling.

At the end of the battering ram it says "Have a nice Day"

Offline Oceander

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Show of hands.  Who wants this guy (the one to your left) playing around with military grade weapons?




I don't.  There are a lot more Barney Fifes out there than there are Andy Griffiths.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 07:31:27 PM by Oceander »


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