The West Lafayette Police Department has added to its ranks a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle for about the same price as a used 1998 Cadillac sedan with almost 100,000 miles.
The purchase includes a new black paint job from the local DeFouw Chevrolet dealership and gun turret removal from the nearest Army National Guard outfit, reports Ron Wilkins of the Journal and Courier Online.
Wilkins did the maths:
When the transition from U.S. military armoured carrier to West Lafayette police armoured special team carrier is finished, taxpayers will be on the hook for $US4,065,Police Chief Jason Dombkowski said.
That comes out to about 14 cents for each of the 29,525 people in West Lafayette.
“That’s a half-million-dollar piece of equipment,” he said, noting that the 2008 truck has never been in combat, is in good shape and has 11,000 miles on it. “We’ve got $US4,000 into it and very little recurring costs.”
Oddly, the truck, valued at $US600,000, remains property of the U.S. Military’s surplus, and can be recalled at any time, though no one expects that.
It’s “on permanent load,” said Police Chief Jason Dombkowski.
In other words, a gift — a generous habit the U.S. military has picked up since winding down the wars.
The pennies on the dollar transfer occurs between a military either incapable or unwilling to store and maintain, to police departments who increasingly feel threatened by roaming shooters and even the potential for roadside bombs.
These acquisitions have not gone unnoticed.
“What we’re doing here, and let’s not kid about it, is we’re building a domestic army and shrinking the military because the government is afraid of its own citizens,” said former Marine colonel, Peter Martino, at a Concord, NH, town council meeting last year.
“The last time 10 terrorists were in the same place at the same time was September 11th, and all these [armoured] vehicles wouldn’t have prevented it, nor would they have helped anything.”
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