Colorado Law Enforcement Agencies Obtain Used Military Equipment
Currently there is a lot of debate about the need for such used/surplus military hardware/equipment that the military (primarily the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps) no longer wants/needs…and whether the current program of the DoD just donating such equipment to local law enforcement agencies across the country is wise. That was highlighted this week in Ferguson, Missouri where such equipment was on display and used by the St. Louis County PD…which clearly had a need for it. Some thoughts… If the alternative to it being destroyed/melted down is to pass it along to law enforcement agencies, or perhaps Army National Guard units in the various states, then yeah.. I think that’s appropriate, and in some cases even wise. After all, just melting it down or destroying it seems silly. BUT, it probably should be sent to those targeted urban areas where there are high population centers, high urban crime, and so on; where the need to have such hardware is more likely, statistically. Chicago, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Detroit, New York City, Oakland/San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver/Aurora, etc. are just some cities that immediately come to mind of such places where equipment like this might come in handy. Those places are no brainers. For those who may not remember.. There was a big shootout in Los Angeles with bank robbers in 1997 that had full auto weapons, body armor and so on. All the LA PD had were their little 9mm handguns (pop guns by comparison) and were NO match for the bank robbers. It was so bad that the LA PD had to go to local gun stores to purchase rifles, and use armored bank cars for protection. It was ridiculous, and pathetic. There are videos of that on the web if you’re curious.. So, yeah.. There ARE appropriate uses for such equipment, and there ARE places where it is, yes, wise to have such equipment. That said.. sending an MRAP (like the one pictured here) to La Plata County Colorado where they have about 131 officers in the entire county? C’mon.. That’s a bit much, methinks. La Plata is in the southwest part of Colorado, is about 88% white demographically, and the unemployment is below the national average. Its relatively calm and crime free compared to other parts of the state. Now, sending an MRAP to Denver, Aurora or Colorado Springs? I can see that. The demographics are more mixed, there are MANY more people by the hundreds of thousands, whereas the entire county of La Plata has only 52,000. In Aurora, alone, the population is around 400,000. And, that’s just one of several cities in Arapahoe County! So, the CO State Patrol, in my estimation, made a poor decision sending a big piece of equipment, however cool and “intimidating” it might be, to La Plata. They should have sent it maybe to Arapahoe County, Denver City & County, and/or El Paso County which has Colorado Springs, a city of around a half a million, in its jurisdiction along with two Air Force bases, NORAD/Cheyenne Mountain, Ft. Carson Army post, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Its also where the Air Force and Army both have their respective Space Commands. So, probably wise to have such equipment on hand for use by the local law enforcement (i.e. El Paso County Sheriff, Colorado Springs PD, etc.) in case, God-forbid, it should be needed.