Several police departments across Idaho have joined the growing number of states receiving armored military vehicles from the federal government.
Canyon County, Ada County, Post Falls and Preston are among the departments now equipped with bulletproof, Mine Resistance Ambush Protected Personnel Carrier (MRAP) vehicles, normally seen on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Potentially there are a lot of uses for this vehicle from deflecting an explosive device to containing or approaching an armed subject without use of greater force. We’re working with Boise Fire and other emergency response agencies throughout the Boise area to see what value this vehicle can bring to public safety. We very much appreciate the federal government for providing this vehicle to our city,” Boise Deputy Chief William Bones said
Boise’s Department of Defense provided MRAP comes equipped with several components including a “weapons of mass destruction” detection system, something Bones felt was necessary.
“This vehicle will be strategic and potentially life-saving for officer response to any incident involving a possible weapon of mass destruction, explosive device, heavily armed subject, even a hazardous material situation.”
Preston Police Chief Ken Geddes informed local residents of his department’s acquisition last week, saying the vehicles are essenital to increasing “domestic security” around the country.
“Our department has officers that have been trained and have personally used these armored vehicles in real world operations overseas. They feel this vehicle will be an asset in our area just as it was in combat situations,” Geddes said. “I appreciate our government and our military for the security they give us and for their help to increase our strength here in our schools and at home.”
Other states including Texas and Tennessee recently received military vehicles as well, courtesy of the Department of Defense surplus program that has flooded the country with military hardware. Incredibly, even the Ohio State University campus police obtained an MRAP last month, becoming the first agency in the state to own such a vehicle.
While departments across the country attempt to quell the public’s distrust of militarized police forces, citizens’ fears were yet again justified when internal New Hampshire police documents revealed that the Concord police requested a military vehicle for libertarians and occupiers. Despite having no history of violence, Concord’s Police Chief claimed that the peaceful activist groups were likely to carry out acts of domestic terrorism. The documents caused an immediate backlash, leading a former Marine Corps Colonel to confront officials at a city council meeting, asking why police now wear what the military wore while stationed in Fallujah.
Unfortunately, the Concord Police Chief’s irrational comments aren’t surprising given the federal government’s terrorist classification guidelines. Simply loving liberty, being a veteran, owning gold and even protesting is considered suspicious terrorist activity. While police militarize and train to take on Ron Paul supporters, the federal government now openly trains, arms and funds Al Qaeda insurgents in Syria.