Friday, September 12, 2014
Gung-Ho!, part III
Why Does Saddleback College Have an MRAP Armored Vehicle?
(Gabriel San Roman; NavelGazing)
The debate over military equipment hand-me-downs to local police departments went before a U.S. Senate Committee hearing this week, weeks after clashes in Ferguson between protesters and cops seemingly ready to take on Terminators brought the issue to the forefront. Police Foundation President Jim Bueermann testified at the hearing that it gives law enforcement armored vehicles needed to protect police and civilian lives.
Maybe such an excuse is valid with an urban police force (maybe not), what about Saddleback College's campus police? With just nine full-time officers, the department somehow managed to get an army mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle for...what exactly? Scaring kids who don't put up their parking permit?
According to analysis of 2011-2014 Department of Defense data on the 1033 program, Saddleback College is one of thirteen police departments across the nation, and the only campus cops, to have an MRAP with less than 10 full-time officers.
. . .
"The Caiman MRAP would be used by the Saddleback College Police Department for emergency response of man-made and natural disasters, first responder mutual aid (as part of the OC mutual aid and OC County Emergency Operations Plan), critical incident, hostage rescue, barricaded suspect and active shooter on campus incidents," campus police chief Christopher S.M. Wilkinson told the Weekly. "Saddleback College Police Department did not currently have this type of vehicle to perform the required functions to enhance officer safety and the safety of the students, staff and faculty until now."
The campus cops acquired the 2012 MRAP model this April at no cost through the federal 1033 program. The South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) approved the transfer.
"I think the trustees let our cops get an MRAP when they found out that some of our students are Democrats," says Irvine Valley College (IVC) philosophy professor Roy Bauer….
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