New Armored Tank for Town Police Sparks Fear, War of Words

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Joe Saunders
December 23, 2013

A war of words has broken out over police force in California getting a new armored vehicle built more for a state of war than patrolling in the Golden State.

The Salinas Police Department recently issued a news release proudly announcing the arrival of thecop_tank armored truck built to survive minefield explosions, which it got compliments of federal taxpayers as part of a program to convert military equipment to law-enforcement use.

Critics took to the police department’s Facebook page to ask exactly why a city of 150,000 on the northern California coast really needs a vehicle designed for battlefield use. It’s more likely to be used against its own citizens, they said..

“That vehicle is made for war. Do not use my safety to justify that vehicle,” one wrote. “The Salinas Police Department is just a bunch of cowards that want to use that vehicle as intimidation and to terrorize the citizens of this city.”

‘To stop gang members?” another wrote. “Hmmm gang members don’t riot in mass numbers. It’s right in front of our faces and we don’t see it. Why would the ARMY!!! give something like that for FREE!!! Let’s think for once people.”

Police Chief Kelly McMillin said he doesn’t understand the problem.

“I knew this was going to come up,” he said in an interview with the Salinas Californian. “It’s the militarization-of-the-police issue. People are like, ‘Why do you need this?’”

He said it’s not what the department has, it’s what it does that’s the point.

“An allegation that we are militarizing has to be that we were patrolling the streets in platoons in greater numbers, that we were setting up checkpoints and searching people in and out of neighborhoods,” he told the interviewer.

The Salinas PD isn’t doing any of that, he said.

Maybe not. And maybe it never will under Kelly McMillin. But that’s not the point, and it’s hard to believe McMillin and the reporter from the Salinas Californian don’t know that.

This country only two months ago saw rangers for the National Park Service – National Park rangers, for God’s sake – turn into a bunch of storm troopers keeping World War II vets out of their own monument, and visitors from “recreating” at Yosemite.

And Chief McMillin doesn’t understand why citizens don’t trust the government with ever-greater weaponry in the hands of a “civilian” police force?

Just ask the commenters on the Salinas Californian article.

“It could be used to deliver a whole bunch of shut the hell up to the citizens of this fair town,” one wrote.

Another agreed.

“And Obama said we don’t need military weapons in hands of citizens”

H/T: The Daily Mail

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  1. The Chief takes his job seriously.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
    George Orwell

  2. “‘An allegation that we are militarizing has to be that we were patrolling the streets in platoons in greater numbers, that we were setting up checkpoints and searching people in and out of neighborhoods,’ he told the interviewer.
    The Salinas PD isn’t doing any of that, he said.”

    Oh, except for the teensy-weensy detail of the Salinas PD website press release page, when searched for the word “checkpoint” comes up with 62 hits over the span of a decade!

    Give it a try, it’s fun!

  3. The chief said, “It’s not what we have but how we use it”? Sheesh! With that mentality you’d might as well send old nuclear weapons over to the local PD because, aw shucks, it’ll “send a message” to all those interlopers that the cops mean business. These people are clearly off the rails.

    • “It’s not what we have but how we use it”

      Why not apply the same reasoning to us Mundanes?

      Why can’t I go out and buy a Browning .50 if having it is not the issue, but rather how I use it?

      • Oh my goodness! You know perfectly well that won’t work for us mundanes. Why, we can’t even be trusted to decide on what to eat anymore… (/sarc)

        That is certainly one of the more mystifying cognitive disconnects with statists.

  4. The weakest links are almost always the maintenance and logistics crews and sites.
    It would be VERY UNFORTUNATE… And very hilarious… If something were to “happen” to this piece of military hardware. Especially something that caused collaterol damage….

    That would be good…

  5. Why they’ve already used it to capture a “dangerous” criminal, some guy trying to swallow a bud or threatening them with a doobie. “Sure I shot him, he has shaking that doobie at me. That could have been (Durban) poison.”

  6. These will be sold for scrap (or parked forever) once the local PDs realize what the ongoing maintenance costs run for military vehicles.

    • They’ll just stick the tax cattle with the maintenance costs, they won’t ever give up their toys. Nice to see that the sheeple in that town are giving some pushback to their masters, though the cops will probably find some poor schmuck to try it out on to scare everyone else into line.

  7. They didn’t need it before, so there’s no need for it now. It’s just another thing to give these thugs a boner and somewhere to stick it.


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