Soldiers Offer MRAP Pointers to Clovis Police Department
Source: Ingenious Press
The police department of Clovis, California (part of the Fresno metro area) is one of the latest precincts in the country to obtain an MRAP vehicle which has been used in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. MRAP is an abbreviation for “Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle” and these machines were primarily designed to protect their occupants from improvised explosives placed alongside motorways. Ask any police officer in the United States, and they will tell you we have a HUGE problem with improvised explosives causing insurmountable material havok and human casualties along our interstate highways and urban thoroughfares. (No, not really).
In the following video, a partnership between a local National Guard unit in Fresno County and the Clovis SWAT team has been organized, primarily to get the police department acclimatized with their new toy. However, it also shows just how in-your-face the militarization of American policing has become to a dispassionate observer. If you direct your attention to the portly gentleman at 0:30, he does not just look like ‘militarized police’, it looks like he IS the military. Full camouflage and everything.
The procurement of this vehicle follows closely in the wake of the city of Salinas, Ca. receiving their own MRAP at no cost from the U.S. Army. That story took place in December 2013, which was criticized by local citizens claiming that the acquisition of such a vehicle was excessive, in addition to being another sign of the ongoing militarization of law enforcement.
That SWAT teams lame rebuttal was that they were in “desperate need” of a new vehicle, which is a rather dubious claim when taking that area’s modest population (150,000) and it’s agriculture dominated economy into consideration. Maybe a ‘desire’ for a new vehicle, but certainly not a desperate need.
Salinas SWAT also claimed that the new truck, built to withstand minefield explosions, had already aided officers looking to arrest a dangerous suspect. The keyword there? “A” dangerous suspect. Not a platoon full of paramilitary men armed with improvised explosives.
MRAP’s. When are they coming to your town?