New armored tank for town police sparks fear, war of words

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 the 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.

califmwrap1222Critics 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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Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].


235 thoughts on “New armored tank for town police sparks fear, war of words

  1. ProjectD says:

    This is fucking retarded. SWAT teams in various cities have had armored vehicles for decades now. Remember the LA riots? When ordinary citizens took to the streets in protest by routing and burning down police stations and courthouses? Oh wait, that’s not right. They burned down and ransacked the homes and businesses of their own communities. Yeah…the police don’t need something to respond to that in a larger population area. Fucking paranoid.

  2. Bill says:

    To all police officers out there, I ask that you remember the words of the fiction writer Tom Clancy. “A cops job is to enforce the law. A soldiers job is to kill the enemy. You can be a cop, or you can be a soldier. You can’t be both”

  3. garygerke says:

    The populous will take their new toys away and use them to defend the Constitution!!!!!

  4. hippybiker says:

    I guess they have never heard about Molotov cocktails and homemade napalm. enough of that gets thrown on that thing and it will be a freaking pig roast.

  5. Defiant says:

    I used to be a HUGE supporter of LE. As time passes, they seem to increasingly see themselves as not only smarter and more capable than the citizenry…but also more priveliged. They rarely support “civilian” gun ownership…they speed around without sirens…and I can’t remember a time I’ve passed one in traffic and not seen him on his cell phone. I understand they have chosen a lifestyle that gives them a measure of authority over us…but they shouldn’t think they were naturally endowed with better judgement or a higher pedigree. It seems obvious to me, from watching decades of Cops on TV, that the “Us vs. Them” mentality they regularly lament in public is moslty fostered by the police.

    1. heroay says:

      Actually, they are getting dumber, more aggressive, arrogant, abusive, and even criminal. To scare the Sheeple. i had the opportunity of seeing one of these new monkees, inside a cop station while filing a complaint. The hispanic ape was stripped down to an athletic shirt, and his chest and arms full of tattoos. A perfect gang member and drug user. Would scare a nanny walking the street at night. Arrogant stupid bully, my immediate thought. Poo-LICE. Feeding on tax-robbed money.

  6. kell490 says:

    Most of the critics have never been to Salinas CA it’s full of Meth heads living off of the State of California’s welfare system. I know 3 people from that area northern California is where you want to go if you like drugs and want to live cheap. Easy to get on Welfare and smoke meth all day. The cops need something like that to protect them from AK 47 rifles cars are not capable of stopping a AK round.

  7. Douglas Hotchkiss says:

    this is the israeli design Golan, 600k , the israeli corps- starke aerospace and eurocopter are based in columbus miss. and are faa cleared for take off. , prepostioning equipt.

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