Veteran Police Officer Defends Law Enforcement's Use Of Military Vehicles Using Condescension And Baseless Claims from the that'll-teach-the-stupid-public! dept
If you're like several law enforcement agencies here in the US, there's a good chance you've obtained a heavily-armored vehicle from the Dept. of Defense's 1033 program. Like much of themilitary equipment obtained through this program (often with the assistance of DHS grants), an MRAP doesn't so much address a need as it creates a problem: new law enforcement tools but nothing to use them for. So, rather than save it for terrorists or active shooters, MRAPS and other military gear are co-opted by SWAT teams or deployed against protesters.
Ignoring much of what has happened over the past several months, 15-year police veteran Steve Rabinovich has posted an article (which is actually more of an advertisement for two tactical training companies) discussing the proper care and feeding of your PD's MRAP.
Now, through the 1033 program, these officers and deputies are prepared to use the proper tools for what threats may come. We all understand that improper and ignorant application of these tools is not only a liability, its deliberate indifference. These trucks feel, drive, and act unlike anything most drivers and teams are used to — to simply put them to use without proper training is asking for people to get hurt or killed.Rabinovich details this MRAP training, most of which involves handling the heavy, unwieldy vehicles, as well as the unique bonding experience that is advanced tactical training at a "flagship Nebraska facility."
One of the most unique things about this course was the positive attitude and genuine desire to learn which didn’t stop when the class was dismissed. Everything from class topics to shooting positions to medical equipment was discussed around the fire pit under the Nebraska moon.Moving on. Rabinovich linked to another article from this one, perhaps recognizing that an article unironically attaching an exclamation point to the sentence, "Your agency got a 1033 MRAP!" might be viewed as "tone deaf," at best. In this one, Rabinovich offers three justifications for any law enforcement agency that feels a mine-resistant vehicle is a worthy addition to its fleet of vehicles.
1. Better-equipped and trained police are a better asset to protect and serve their communities.The "better-equipped" justification is tough to argue with. Arguably, a heavily-armored vehicle is protective but how does it "serve" the community? It's not as though endangered citizens get to shuttle in and out of crime scenes in bulletproof vehicles. The argument rests on the assumption that a more well-protected police force is a net win for the community. Maybe it is, but Rabinovich doesn't bother connecting those dots.
2. In some quarters, violent anti-government groups and individuals are targeting cops as scapegoats.
3. There has been a steady increase in deadly and violent assaults on cops — as well as acts of domestic and international terrorism — many of which are reported in limited scope or not publicly known.
If these are the trucks being given away, these are the truck being implemented into law enforcement service. If someone thinks their tax dollars are better served letting these assets rust away or be given to foreign armies, maybe their cash is greener than yours or mine.If you're against police militarization then you must be for wasting tax dollars and arming foreigners. It's that simple. You could not be any less of an American.
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