SC Police Department Gets UN Blue Armored Vehicle that is Land Mine & IED Resistant
by Joshua Cook
Nov. 13, 2013
On Veterans Day, Columbia, South Carolina became the latest of about 500 communities nationwide to add a military grade armored vehicle to its police force. The para-military vehicle with a “U.N. blue” custom paint job seats nine people, has an armable turret, and costs $658,000. The vehicle made its way to the department for free through the Department of Defense’s 1033 excess property program. The tank is bullet proof, features a land mine resistant frame, and a mount rack suited for a 50 caliber machine gun.
The police department says the MRAP – short for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle – will help protect SWAT team officers and the general public during dangerous confrontations. It’s bulletproof, armored, and, as the name suggests, can even resist landmine explosions. A local body shop painted the vehicle for free.
The question, of course, is why a civilian police force needs or should have a military grade armored and armable vehicle. Such a “tool” makes the government much, much more physically powerful than American citizens, increasing the risk of abuse, and the damage to civilians when that abuse occurs.