Despite widespread disenchantment with increased militarization of local law enforcement agencies across the nation, the San Diego Unified School District police recently added a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or MRAP, to their arsenal of emergency vehicles.
The SDUSD can’t complain about the price in which they were able to purchase the vehicle. MRAPs, which cost about $600,000 to build, was sold to the school system for nothing as long as they paid the $5,000 shipping cost, reported boingboing.net.
Just last month, the Washington Times reported that the Davis City Council in California instructed its police department to get rid of its mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicle, after the city received pressure from local residents who feared their police are becoming too militarized.
The nation became weary of the excessive use of highly militarized vehicles during the riots in Ferguson, Missouri in August. San Diego took advantage of the same Department of Defense’s Excess Property Program (aka 1033 Program) as Ferguson did. Essentially, the program offers local police departments armored vehicles at highly discounted premiums, after the DOD no longer needs them.
Joe Florentino, a captain with the SDUSD police department explained that the MRAP will be used as a rescue vehicle, “When we have an emergency at a school, we’ve got to get in and save kids.” He gave some specific examples of when the MRAP would be used: “Our idea is ‘How can we get in and pull out a classroom at a time of kids if there’s an active shooter?… If there’s a fire [or] if there’s an earthquake, can we rip down a wall?’ Stuff like that.”