Although Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) are “militaristic in nature,” cops should use them because they have “significant utility for law enforcement operations,” according to President Obama’s task force on police equipment.
The interagency Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group (LEEWG), which was established by Obama under Executive Order 13688, purposely exempted MRAPs and other military vehicles from a list of equipment prohibited from police use.
To explain the exemption, LEEWG described MRAPs as equipment “that could be seen as militaristic in nature yet also may have significant utility for law enforcement operations.”
“This includes several types of armored vehicles, such as MRAP vehicles transferred via the [Pentagon’s] 1033 program and armored vehicles manufactured commercially,” the LEEWG report stated.
LEEWG even suggested that it was okay for university police departments to use MRAPs as long as they have “policies” in place, such as painting “Emergency Rescue” on the side, as if that’s going to prevent abuse from happening.
“The University of Texas System Police (UTSP) has a policy on Emergency Rescue Armored Personnel Vehicle (MRAP), which specifies that the ‘exclusive operational purpose’ of the MRAP is to enhance the physical protection of its occupants,” the LEEWG report said. “Accordingly, the policy requires that any MRAP vehicle display the words ‘Emergency Rescue,’ so that its purpose is clear to the community.”
The editor-in-chief of a major law enforcement web site, Doug Wyllie of PoliceOne.com, thought it was strange that MRAPs were exempted.
“Recall that the MRAP was purpose-built for the theater of war in Iraq and Afghanistan when our soldiers were being killed and maimed because the Humvees and M35/deuce-and-a-halfs were being shredded like wet cardboard,” he wrote. “The design of the MRAP is specific to answer the threat of an IED constructed from unexploded military ordinance.”
Last year the Spokane Co., Wash., Sheriff’s Dept. came under fire after a deputy claimed their MRAP was needed to deal with the threat posed by “constitutionalists.”
“I mean, we’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, lots of ammunition,” the deputy said. “They have weapons here locally.”
Considering how much the Obama administration hates the Second Amendment, is it really that surprising that they would encourage police to use MRAPs?