Although Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) are “militaristic in nature,” cops should use them because they have “significant utility for law enforcement operations,” according to President Obama’s task force on police equipment.
To explain the exemption, LEEWG described MRAPs as equipment “that could be seen as militaristic in nature yet also may have significant utility for law enforcement operations.”
“This includes several types of armored vehicles, such as MRAP vehicles transferred via the [Pentagon’s] 1033 program and armored vehicles manufactured commercially,” the LEEWG report stated.
LEEWG even suggested that it was okay for university police departments to use MRAPs as long as they have “policies” in place, such as painting “Emergency Rescue” on the side, as if that’s going to prevent abuse from happening.
“The University of Texas System Police (UTSP) has a policy on Emergency Rescue Armored Personnel Vehicle (MRAP), which specifies that the ‘exclusive operational purpose’ of the MRAP is to enhance the physical protection of its occupants,” the LEEWG report said. “Accordingly, the policy requires that any MRAP vehicle display the words ‘Emergency Rescue,’ so that its purpose is clear to the community.”
“Recall that the MRAP was purpose-built for the theater of war in Iraq and Afghanistan when our soldiers were being killed and maimed because the Humvees and M35/deuce-and-a-halfs were being shredded like wet cardboard,” he wrote. “The design of the MRAP is specific to answer the threat of an IED constructed from unexploded military ordinance.”