Davis, CA- City officials in Davis, CA have listened to residents worried about excessive police militarization and ordered the police department to get rid of their new armored vehicle.
The equipment, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicle, valued at $689,000, was another example of such a vehicle being passed on to police at no cost to the city by the military. The police department acquired the vehicle two weeks ago as part of the Defense Department’s 1033 Program.
Councilman Robb Davis voiced concern at a council meeting last Tuesday. “I am opposed to the investments that are made and then the results of those investments flowed back to our community in ways that may not hurt our community in a physical sense [but] are destructive in terms of not increasing our security but increasing our anxiety,” he said.
Residents protesting the vehicle appeared worried that the vehicle would be used to squelch protests and dissent in the community. Police said the purpose of the vehicle was to protect officers during dangerous situations such as dealing with active shooters.
More attention than ever before has been paid by citizens to police in their acquisition of military equipment, while some law enforcement officials continue to defend their value. “We have a genuine and job-specific need for the types of equipment that most people wish that they wouldn’t have in their communities because of the nature of the job that we have,” said Davis police Chief Landy Black.
“We enjoy a certain quality of life but none the less the real world intrudes upon us from time to time,” Black also said.
The Davis Police Department has 60 days to decide the fate of the vehicle.