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Old November 27, 2013, 10:04 AM   #1
Wyoredman
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"It's armored. It's heavy. It's intimidating. And it's free"

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/27...d-for-warzone/

Earlier this year, we TFLers had a good conversation concerning the militarization of the U.S. police force.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ization+police

This morning, the headlines on the FOX news site are about just this topic.

It seems that the military is now giving MRAPS to local police forces, along with Humvees and M4's!

It just amazes me, since 9/11 the mentality of force has permeated even the most rural of community governments.

Quote:
An Associated Press investigation of the Defense Department military surplus program this year found that a disproportionate share of the $4.2 billion worth of property distributed since 1990 — everything from blankets to bayonets and Humvees — has been obtained by police and sheriff's departments in rural areas with few officers and little crime.
For some reason, when I read articles like this, I get a churning in my gut. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but why on earth does my local police force need a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle? For the life of me, the only reason I can think of is ""It's armored. It's heavy. It's intimidating. And it's free" !!!!!
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Old November 27, 2013, 10:11 AM   #2
g.willikers
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Wonder how long these exotic military vehicles will be running, without the backup in parts and know-how they need.
Kind of like that Christmas toy that winds up broken and rusting away in the back yard after awhile, maybe.
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Old November 27, 2013, 10:15 AM   #3
Wyoredman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers
Kind of like that Christmas toy that winds up broken and rusting away in the back yard after awhile, maybe.
We can only hope!

If the army didn't want these MRAPS, why not scrap them? Steel, copper, iron all are worth pretty good sums at the recycle places! A much better fate for unwanted military stuff than driving down my street with a gung-ho local cop behind the wheel!
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Old November 27, 2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
For some reason, when I read articles like this, I get a churning in my gut. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but why on earth does my local police force need a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle?
Reminds me of the anti queries about why we 'need' military style weapons designed for warfare and killing people. Why do we need body armor?

Quote:
Wonder how long these exotic military vehicles will be running, without the backup in parts and know-how they need.
There is no shortage of military trained mechanics in the civilian market these days. Parts likely won't be much of an issue either. I am sure access to parts is part of the deal.
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Old November 27, 2013, 11:55 AM   #5
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There's a bad moon on the rise.
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Old November 27, 2013, 12:06 PM   #6
Dave P
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My little burg of Live Oak got a mrap. What a waste.

I complained to the conservative man I am working with. He said:"but it was free!"

BFD

I am going to suggest to the sheriff that he put it up for sale on EBAY, then the town can Make some money.
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Old November 27, 2013, 01:35 PM   #7
Wyoredman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Reminds me of the anti queries about why we 'need' military style weapons designed for warfare and killing people. Why do we need body armor?
I hope most see the difference between a free person owning a rifle and an appointed police chief controlling an MRAP!
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Old November 27, 2013, 02:01 PM   #8
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Wow, the militry must really be tired of its mine resistant vehicles. i hear from an officer involved in the draw down logistics that they are CUTTING UP brand new MRAPs and similar massive vehicles. Supposedly too expensive to ship back and, and they don't want to leave them in the hands of the Afghans/Taliban.

So many new ones are being cut into scrap and others given away to the US police. Wow. I am all for giving our troops the very best protection and mobility, but there should be a better exit strategy than scrap and giveaways. It is cost effective to ship cheap shiploads of Walmart and Harbor Freight stuff from China but not cost effective to ship $500,000 MRAPs from Afghanistan?

and for the police, why free? sure the federal government paid for them, but that doesn't mean they should be given free to local govts. I guess the Feds think they have too much taxpayer funds sloshing around in the bilge to worry about re-use or recouping expenses.

Really?
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Old November 27, 2013, 02:04 PM   #9
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I wish they would have the same policy for CMP Garands. Its heavy, its armor piercing, and its FREE!
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Last edited by Al Norris; November 27, 2013 at 04:36 PM. Reason: editied duplicate msg
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Old November 27, 2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Wonder how long these exotic military vehicles will be running, without the backup in parts and know-how they need.
Kind of like that Christmas toy that winds up broken and rusting away in the back yard after awhile, maybe.
I believe I read somewhere that the recipients of the vehicles also get a maintenance allowance.
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Old November 27, 2013, 02:59 PM   #11
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Humvees seem better suited to SAR teams than PDs, but whatever.

I WANT my local cops to have access to carbines, and if they are surplus M4s that they get for free/cheap, all the better. The police should have access to equipment as good as what I can buy. (I'm not a fan of the Hughes amendment.)

MRAPs? Maybe for SWAT teams. Armored vehicles can be good for victim evacuation.
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Old November 27, 2013, 03:31 PM   #12
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I wonder if the vehicles come with some sort of caveat allowing the agency to sell it on the civilian market after some length of time.

I've been told that such a program was used by a number of municipalities in the early 1980s to obtain milsurp Bell OH-58A Kiowa helicopters, the military equivalent of the popular 206A JetRanger. As I heard it told, a bunch of them went to rural low-crime departments that didn't really need a helo, much less had the funds and expertise to run one, and a suspicious number of the aircraft were resold on the commercial market immediately after the time limit was up. Of course, the municipalities argued that their reasoning for accepting the "gift" had NOTHING to do with the potential to profitably resell it.

OTOH land vehicles require less training and money to run, and arguably withstand neglect better; also, many civilians have a legitimate need for a small turbine helicopter, whereas I don't think the same can be said for an MRAP.
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Old November 27, 2013, 04:41 PM   #13
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So, local LE are getting some free trucks and rifles from the military. Been going on for years. I don't see the big deal. There are some military hmmv's that come up for sale time to time that were legally released, in addition to the normal ones made/sold for public consumption as the H1. I fail to see the difference. Same with the rifles.... MRAPs, just a big awkward armored truck. Again, there are armored vehicles for sale to the public at times too through various military collectors groups, etc.

If the argument is about easing certain DoD and NFA restrictions so these items can be auctioned to the public, I could see a point. Otherwise, I don't, because the argument of how it is "intimidating" in LE hands and isn't "intimidating" in the publics hands is just adding fuel to the anti's who are against firearms, SUV's, etc.
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Old November 27, 2013, 04:50 PM   #14
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This worries me. The police getting vehicles like this. Not allowing civilians to buy firearms, or only allowing them to get severely restricted firearms. Continuously more violent, and [military style] police tactics. This isn't good.

Checks and balances.
The government > The Public.

I don't see a balance there. The public are supposed to have enough power to be able to overthrow the government, if they need to. How else would the public protect themselves from tyranny?

Last edited by Vanya; November 27, 2013 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Godwin's law...
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Old November 27, 2013, 05:03 PM   #15
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IMHO MRAPS and similar are silly for nearly any civilian police force to have. However that particular program has also provided a LOT of other vehicles like Humvees, 5 ton trucks etc. Many small or rural PD's or sheriff's departments have used them to great effect. During heavy snows they utilized the Humvees to check on folks and get their officers to where they need to be, they can use them to transfer an injured or sick person to a location where the ambulance can pick them up, they can be equipped for use in fighting fire etc. etc. Also I have seen large rubber tired loaders, track loaders etc. go to County Road Districts. So while MRAPS are silly some of the other equipment and vehicles can be a great asset to small/rural LE agencies.
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Old November 27, 2013, 06:07 PM   #16
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Makes me upset too for a lot of reasons. Waste. Militarization of the police force. Further encroachments on civil rights.
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Old November 27, 2013, 07:06 PM   #17
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I'm still trying to figure out how anyone figures an MRAP was "free".
The taxpayers of this country paid for it. We bought it so our military personal would be better protected in a combat zone. If the DoD doesn't need it for its original purpose any longer, then sell it to the locals and recoup some of the taxpayer's investment. No wonder we're broke!
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Old November 27, 2013, 07:22 PM   #18
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I think this just gives police another excuse to bully honest Americans.

I'm glad that we are finding new uses for equipment that we don't need but this begs the question... Did we need this equipment in the first place?
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Old November 27, 2013, 08:33 PM   #19
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Wonder how long these exotic military vehicles will be running, without the backup in parts and know-how they need.
Kind of like that Christmas toy that winds up broken and rusting away in the back yard after awhile, maybe.

I believe I read somewhere that the recipients of the vehicles also get a maintenance allowance.

I work as a parts Mngr for the company that supplies a large quantity of these engines for power generators, 6 tracks, ect. I see people that buy these units at Military auctions. Then they come ( some ) to me for parts, Umm sorry buddy you are SOL. Military equipment is built to there specs. When you buy this stuff you do not get the parts book and if you do it is in military part #'s. The serial numbers will not work in any system but the military's, The SN#'s are not registered with any one other than the military. Most times as was stated you end up with a 5000 lb broken Christmas toy. Or as we call them at work- A paper weight.
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Old November 27, 2013, 08:45 PM   #20
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I used to work for the company that made MRAPs: impressive, expensive to operate and maintain, parts not available at the local Chevy dealer, I'm not sure they make a lot of sense in a non-IED rich environment, AND 3 MPG!

The ride is far from that of a SWAT Bear or Tahoe. Another 1033 program item not likely to be the number 1 seller.
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Old November 27, 2013, 08:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
It seems that the military is now giving MRAPS to local police forces, along with Humvees and M4's!
What are they getting in return?

(HINT: TANSTAAFL.)
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Old November 27, 2013, 09:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNS
There is no shortage of military trained mechanics in the civilian market these days. Parts likely won't be much of an issue either. I am sure access to parts is part of the deal.
Access to parts is not part of the deal. It's like buying a used car from an unknown private seller ... as-is, no warranty expressed or implied. PD in the adjacent town got one of the surplus Humvees. I took a citizens' police academy course there last year. They showed us the Humvee, and mentioned that it hadn't been running for a year. Sure, mechanics who can work on a diesel Humvee can be found -- but the department has no contract with such people, no mechanism to pay them, and no money to maintain the thing. If the local Public Works truck mechanic can't fix it, it doesn't get fixed.

I'd like to know why these things are surplus. Is the military still buying MRAPS? If so, why are we buying new ones while giving the ones we have to police departments who have no use for them?

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; November 27, 2013 at 09:48 PM.
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Old November 27, 2013, 09:51 PM   #23
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I just saw a report from Afghanistan regarding Afghan government forces taking over fighting the Taliban.
As we draw down our forces, these afghans are fighting...and getting killed. They are patrolling in US supplied unarmored Ford pick ups.
These are people who could use MRAPS.
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Old November 27, 2013, 10:05 PM   #24
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LOL, they could not get their hummer to run? That is too funny. I know folks who own H1s. Even our little town used them, retrofitted, for brushfire vehicles.

If the departments don't have mechanics that can handle a diesel engine, that is on them. The materials and people are out there to handle the problem even if access to parts is not part of the deal. Access to powerplant aspects of the vehicles isn't restricted.
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Old November 29, 2013, 07:29 PM   #25
JimDandy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyoredman
I hope most see the difference between a free person owning a rifle and an appointed police chief controlling an MRAP!
I wish you saw the similarity of the argument. Why should John Q Public care if you have a .45 on your hip, if you're a law abiding citizen and not going to do anything wrong with it? Why should you care of Sheriff John Q Public has an MRAP in the department garage for emergencies you're not going to create, and won't suffer from? If you want presumption of innocence, and the benefit of the doubt, maybe you should offer it to others too.
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