The Pentagon declared in January that it wanted to unload 13,000 mine-resistant, ambushed-protected trucks for free to law enforcement agencies, and now an Iowa town with a population of 7,000 people has taken it up on the offer.
A 40,000 pound MRAP that stands over 10 feet tall and built for the war-torn Middle East will be on hand for a possible terrorist attack in Washington, Iowa, its police chief says.
“If there’s a school shooting or a factory shooting or something bad that happens somewhere — if there’s a terrorist attack somewhere in the state — the police are the ones who have to respond. You can’t have the military respond. It’s going to be the police,” Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman told the Des Moines Register.
Mr. Goodman added that fears of law enforcement agencies one day using their military vehicles to assist them in disarming the public are unfounded.
The Daily Iowan wasn’t impressed.
“With the influx of military gear into local police forces, cops begin to view themselves as soldiers whose main job is combat rather than keeping the peace. […] But hey, the sheriff gets to ride around in a sweet new MRAP and pretend he’s Rambo so, you know, let’s call it a draw,” said author Matthew Byrd.
In January it was reported that Ohio State University’s campus police department also acquired one of the mine-resistant vehicles from the Pentagon’s program, but the university declined The National Journal’s request for comment.