Calif. police acquire armored vehicle, citizens outraged
The $650,000 vehicle was gifted to the Salinas Police Department from the government through the 1033 program
SALINAS, Calif. — Police in Salinas, California are under fire after the department acquired a heavily armored military vehicle for SWAT team operations.
The $650,000 vehicle was gifted to the Salinas Police Department from the government through the 1033 program, which redistributes used equipment to other agencies. According to KSBW, the truck was used in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to numerous outlets, police stated their SWAT team was in desperate need of a new vehicle. KSBW added that the new truck, built to withstand rifle fire and minefield explosions, has already aided officers looking to arrest a dangerous suspect. The individual was apparently spotted via the vehicle’s high observation deck.
While Police Chief Kelly McMillin believes the vehicle “provides a high capability of protection for our officers and the community,” other members of the community have been outspoken in their disagreement.
Posting on the police department’s Facebook page, citizens criticized the acquisition as excessive, as well as a sign of the militarization of law enforcement.