Why’s This Sheriff Need an MRAP? Because the U.S. ‘Is a War Zone’

DJ LeinDJ LeinAh, the Heartland. Amber waves of grain, apple pie, and mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles. After all, assures Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer, "the United States of America has become a war zone."

In case you couldn't hear him over all that shelling, the sheriff of a safe, rural, 13,000-person county needs a 60,000-lbs vehicle designed to weather asymmetrical attacks inflicted by Iraqis with roadside bombs because "it's a lot more intimidating than a Dodge." That's what protecting and serving is all about, right? Gayer goes on:

There's violence in the workplace, there's violence in schools and there's violence in the streets. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract. If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that's what I'm going to do.

WKVIWKVIOr, as the Indianapolis Star explains, "agencies with small budgets [are] turning to military surplus equipment to take advantage of bargains" on things like MRAPs, which proved to be too top heavy for the mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, and are now being sold cheaply or scrapped. That makes a little more sense, since violent crime in the U.S. has dropped to a 40-year low.

The Star describes Gayer as one of Indiana's "most prolific applicants for military surplus items." He's got so much winter warfare camouflage and night vision shit, you'd think Pulaski County was living out Red Dawn.

But what if Gayer and his men are busy doing boring, normal cop stuff when Grenada takes its revenge? Don't worry, as the Star documents, a bunch of other counties in Indiana have been collecting their own MRAPs and other toys.

Check out this Johnson County officer looking like a total warrior, driving his battle-mobile through the deadly combat zone that is rural Indiana. Are those Chechen mercenaries behind the corn stalks? 

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  • Andrew S.||

    So, question. If you placed one of these SWAT cops in an actual warzone with people actually shooting back at them, how would they respond?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Same way they respond to a charging, barking Pomeranian: pants-shitting terror following by blind panic fire followed by continued pants-shitting.

  • Harvard||

    Based on the ones I'm familiar with, they'd shake like a dog shittin' a peach seed.

  • Brian D||

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Shoot the asian women delivering newspapers.

  • Drake||

    They would be dead in seconds.

  • gaoxiaen||

    FARFEGNUGEN!

  • gaoxiaen||

    And it gets 3 miles per gallon.

  • Fluffy||

    You still have to get out of the tank to go get a slice of pizza.

  • Fluffy||

    Too soon?

  • sasob||

    No.

  • Libertymike||

    No respect for the metabolically challenged gendarmes?

  • Rich||

    Pizza, right. Ever tried doing donuts in a tank?

  • ||

    No. 43 on my bucket list

  • fish||

    Pizza, right. Ever tried doing donuts in a tank?

    Nope…it appears though that Sheriff Gayer (I swear the fucking jokes write themselves) has eaten a few donuts in the MRAP.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    No but I did run over a burned out car once.

  • The Sego Sago Kid||

    Hey, we got the war on drugs, war on poverty, war on Christmas, war on soda.. sounds like we're in a war zone to me.

    You ever open a soda can after it was shaken up? Those things are like high-fructose IEDs. You'd want an MRAP too if you had to deal with that shit.

  • Mr.Krinkle||

    War on Obesity

  • sarcasmic||

    Recently someone wrote a letter to the local paper after the city's police department got a military vehicle, sarcastically requesting that the police department parade its military might on holidays like the good authoritarians do.

    The mayor wrote a letter in response basically saying that it is indeed a war out there, and that there is a "subculture" of people who will not hesitate to use fully automatic weapons on our heroes in blue. I can't remember the last time someone made the news using fully automatic weapons on police officers since that infamous bank robbery North Hollywood, but according to him it's commonplace.

    That's what they really believe.

  • Trials and Trippelations||

    That's what they really believe.

    It's easy for me to imagine a conversation about these military give aways with my friends who are wives of police officers.

    Wives: You don't understand you are not a police officer. You don't see how stressful it is on my husband. It totally is a war out there.

    Because stress absolutely equals war zone.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Simple...

    Stop being a cop....no more stress.

  • sarcasmic||

    What? And give up the power to harm anyone who doesn't obey you? No fucking way!

  • politicsbyothermeans||

    I know a few Gold Star widows that might take exception to that.

  • Jerryskids||

    sarcasmic|6.10.14 @ 9:32AM|#

    Recently someone wrote a letter to the local paper after the city's police department got a military vehicle, sarcastically requesting

    Someone wrote a sarcastic letter? Do you have any suspicions about who the sarcastic person was?

  • sarcasmic||

    I wish I could claim credit. The letter was awesome. It had images of children riding on tanks with the brave policemen while the women threw flowers at their brave protectors marching past with arms at their shoulders.

  • ||

    That's what they really believe.

    Despite all reason. With this Sheriff's pleas for OFFICER SAFETY, I had to take a look to see how many Johnson County Sheriff's Office deputies were killed a year, figuring there must be some epidemic of cop-killing in rural Indiana.

    http://www.johnsoncountysherif.....moriam.asp

    Oh.

  • sarcasmic||

    That mayor who declared there's an underclass of cop killers must have seen several cops die on his watch, right?

    http://www.odmp.org/agency/213.....ment-maine

    Oh.

  • Cis Shitlord||


    Special Officer Wallace Moriarty
    Lewiston Police Department
    EOW: Sunday, September 13, 1925
    Cause: Gunfire (Accidental)

    You never see the name Wallace anymore. It's kind of a cool name.

  • db||

    Cause: Gunfire (Accidental)

    Shots were fired.

  • KDN||

    It's a tragedy that happens every 30 years. They're about due, and he's doing everything in his power to prevent the next one.

  • David Wall||

    I'm embarrassed. I had no idea my county sheriff was such a putz. Johnson County is the most crime free of the donut counties around Marion Co. (Indianapolis).

  • Monty Crisco||

    AT least this asshole is honest about it - his total adoption of the us-vs-them mentality. What a fat cowardly douche. Honestly, our "peace" officers now have training that SOOOOOOOO exhorts them to overreact and view ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING as a potential lethal threat (including a 110-lb girl with a butter knife) that they are the most PARANOIAC PUSSIES the earth has ever seen. AND WE ARE ARMING THEM LIKE THE FUCKING MILITARY TO ATTACK US!!
    OT: We should be happy to live in a dictatorship if democracy can't control the weather!!!
    http://www.nationaljournal.com.....e-20140606

  • Jerryskids||

    What gets me is that "my top priority is making sure my men get home safe" attitude. It sure sounds to me like he's saying "shoot first and ask questions later" - and if that's how cops keep thenselves safe from me, isn't that how I should keep myself safe from cops?

  • sarcasmic||

    The police protect the safety of the public. The public means everyone except any individual. That's why it's acceptable for police to shoot bystanders. They're busy protecting the public, which is everyone except those bystanders that they shoot.

  • sasob||

    Or the babies they burn.

  • sarcasmic||

    That drug dealer forced them to burn that baby! If he hadn't sold drugs from that location, then the baby wouldn't have gotten burned! It's the dealer's fault! He burned the baby! He did it! With his own hands!

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Another marijuana related death!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Please pray for these brave officers, who were forced to burn a baby.

  • MJGreen||

    The police are the vanguard of the public. Therefore their safety comes first. The actual individuals of the public are mere atoms.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    and if that's how cops keep thenselves safe from me, isn't that how I should keep myself safe from cops?

    But, cops are better than you...

    They must be...

    They're cops.

  • sarcasmic||

    Q: How many civilian deaths are acceptable if it means a policeman going home safely to his family?

    A: All of them.

  • NoVAHockey||

    I'm fairly confident this wouldn't happen in Fairfax, just because you could never drive one of those things through traffic. Now if there were surplus air power ....

  • DannoVA||

    FCPD doesn't need these things to effectively kill the citizens of Fairfax County. They do that well enough as it is.

  • Virginian||

    None of ya'll host poker games in your homes, right? Dangerous in Fairfax.

  • Monty Crisco||

    IT'S FULL OF YUMMY STATIST GOODNESS!!! TONY APPROVED!!!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Wasn't it liberals who used to like to talk about root causes?

    As police forces become increasingly militaristic, is it any wonder if more people start to treat them like an army of occupation?

    Eh, with the left, I guess that kind of root cause analysis is only valid when it applies to foreigners resisting American troops and violent gangs made up of minorities who suffer from discrimination.

    But, seriously, if they start acting like an army of occupation, they shouldn't be surprised if more people treat them like an army of occupation, and, no, recognizing the cause of some behavior isn't the same thing as condoning it.

    ...but the left doesn't need that explained to them, do they? Are there any honest liberals anymore?

  • pan fried wylie||

    The Enlightened need no explanations.

  • sarcasmic||

    Are there any honest liberals anymore?

    No. Thing is, they're not even honest with themselves. So it's pointless to expect them to be honest with anyone else.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Are there any honest liberals anymore?

    The last time I met one was in the early nineties.

    Aside: It looks as though, to someone, the four major food groups are Krispy Kreme, Dunkin', Hostess, and Entenmann's.

  • Whahappan?||

    Yeah, but they're not treated like an army of occupation, they're lavished with near universal praise and gratitude, bordering on worship. They are treated to a nearly unending paean from politicians, academia and the media. They have immense power with very little oversight, and horrendous behavior is indulged and excused in the most ludicrous manner.

    And yet they STILL act in a bitter, childish and paranoid way, as if they are constantly defending a hostile, ungrateful society from powerful, evil forces with little or no thanks. It truly is delusional.

  • sasob||

    If it's a "war zone," Sheriff, how do you suppose it got to be that way? Think maybe the War on Drugs or War on Terror could have anything to do with it?

  • Rich||

    If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that's what I'm going to do.

    Gayer to drive an F-14 ....

  • Jerryskids||

    This is why I can't believe that people will even countenance cops with drones. "Oh, we're only going to equip them with cameras so that we can look for sweet little girls who've wandered away from home and find lost little puppy dogs." Bullshit. If you're going to use the drones to find bad guys, you're going to use the drones to fire heat-seeking missles at the bad guys. And too fucking bad if sweet little girls and lost little puppy dogs wander into the kill zone while you're trying to take out the pizza delivery guy your facial recognition system has mis-identified as John Wilkes Booth.

  • Libertymike||

    Would that we should be so blessed as having a few more JWBs.

  • ||

    I know, right?

  • Cis Shitlord||

    If is the operative word there.

  • Free Society||

    Fuck the police. Fuck them.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They need the beefed up suspension of these vehicles because their officers are so rotund, okay? Happy now?

  • Monty Crisco||

    Seriously, this guy unabashedly (and apparently unironically)states "The United States is a war zone."
    WHAT.THE.FUCK? How does NO ONE call him on this ridiculous fear-mongering BULLSHIT?
    Reminds me of Kent Brockman covering a children's summer camp uprising and saying it was a "million times worse" than Bosnia!

  • Andrew S.||

    Ladies and Gentleman, I've been to Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq; and I can say without hyperbole that this is a million times worse than all of them put together.

  • Monty Crisco||

    That's the one... fucking hilarious... and being regurgitated by our police WITHOUT IRONY!!!!

  • Trials and Trippelations||

    If we don't let cops get free military equipment it would be like 9/11 times 100

  • sarcasmic||

    900/11?

  • Andrew S.||

  • GiveMeLibertyorGiveMePie||

    "If we don't let cops get free military equipment it would be like 9/11 times 100"

    So like 81.81818?

  • db||

    Maybe 81.8182

  • Jerryskids||

    The United States *is* a war zone. The 'War on Drugs' and 'The War on Terror' is not mere hyperbole. Ask the Mexican Army if the War on Drugs in Mexico is any different than any other war the Mexican Army has ever been involved in. Ask Manuel Noriega why the US Army invaded Panama.

    This is what people don't understand - during wartime the government is given some leeway in suspending some parts of the Constitution. The War on Drugs has given them some latitude in suspending the Fourth Amendment, for example. The War on Terror is a global war, which includes the US, which gives them some latitude in suspending any other inconvenient part of that piece of paper.

    The general public thinks that the government is using 'war' as a metaphor - they're not.

  • sarcasmic||

    He's right that there is a war out there, but it's not a war being waged against the police. It's being waged by the police.

  • Monty Crisco||

    Touche, sir. What a difference an incisive preposition makes....

  • Rick O'Shay||

    Anybody see that military+police facebook post the NRA did yesterday? People were pissed!

  • Wally||

    How many of muh roadz in Pulaski Co. are rated for 60 ton vehicles?

  • sarcasmic||

    They're stimulating the economy by creating jobs repairing the roads!

  • Wally||

    They collapsed what roadz there were in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's why they're surplus and the military runs MATV's. Pulaski Co. roads aren't much better.

  • ||

    If this sheriff did not exist, it would be necessary for sloopy to invent him

  • 110 Lean||

    Gayer. Hee hee!

  • Capt. Rimmer||

    I'm glad theses morons are buying this crap. People shouldn't trust these cops and this kind of visual will reinforce the distrust.

  • Trouser-Pod||

    This is the America that so many Americans have either pushed for or allowed.

    So many aspects of life have been put under the control of law enforcement, in general, and most people either just accept it, or cheer it on. Even when the courts determined that police don't have a duty to individuals, just like sarc has pointed out, individuals still think the cops are there to take care of them and watch over them.

    Few ever sue to get laws overturned, and even if they did, with our reliance on court precedents, it would be nigh impossible to overturn all the power-building shit that has built up.

  • Ron||

    When was the last time a cop car was hit by a bomb? we all know the answer is never. What these idiots don't understand is police trying to intimidate the public this way will only bring more distrust upon them. What they also don't understand is that most roads and most non-freeway bridges are rated for 40,000 pounds meaning they can only use this equipment in limited areas. I can only say that if one of these appear in my town somehow they will magically self immoliate.

  • sarcasmic||

    What these idiots don't understand is police trying to intimidate the public this way will only bring more distrust upon them.

    Good people trust and obey the police. Anyone who doesn't is a threat. So the more intimidating the police are, the better they can identify threats.

    What they also don't understand is that most roads and most non-freeway bridges are rated for 40,000 pounds meaning they can only use this equipment in limited areas.

    They'll use them wherever they want. If they cause damage, well fuck you you're paying for it because they're not responsible for anything. They're the police.

  • Thea||

    It seems to me, they should be checking into surplus gym equipment.

  • Rich Uncle Pennybags||

    Maybe we could slow the acquisitions down if we required the same physical fitness / weight standards the military has department wide before they could get military equipment.

  • american socialist||

    Nonononono, zenon, don't you know anything? The only thing that will keep us safe from obama's police state tyranny and the occasional burgler is more people with concealed weapon permits. Look at all the great things that happen when right wing cult members #1 and #2 are confronted by gun nut #1. Quick question: are all of the usual Reason commentators around? I ask for a reason. Seriously.

    "A shopper, Joseph Robert Wilcox, 31, of Las Vegas had a concealed weapon and decided to confront Jerad Miller, police said. As he walked toward the suspect, Amanda Miller came up behind him and shot him several times in the ribs, police said."

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us.....ee-n125766

    I'm generally unfamiliar with glib internet phraseology. Would the term EPIC FAIL apply here or no?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yes, much better to die a quivering pile of spinless shit than attempting to defend yourself.

    Coward.

  • sarcasmic||

    Better to die with a phone in your hand than live with a gun in your hand.

  • MJGreen||

    Much better to let two killers go free and potentially kill many more, even when you have the means and know-how to stop them.

  • Cis Shitlord||

    And the highly trained police officers did so much better? Do you have a point, or are you even capable of anything beyond laughing at a person's death because he didn't agree with one of his presumed political stances?

  • american socialist||

    Isn't my point clear? I don't think concealed weapons permits make people safer and I think cops should be the ones that deal with right-wingers on a murder spree. This situation is evidence-- anecdotal, to be sure-- that people with concealed gun permits are likely to get shot while acting like policemen. I would suspect 90% of cops would tell you that they would have preferred that mr. Rambo stay the hell out of the situation. Look what it got him. Hope he didn'tT have a wife and kids.

  • sarcasmic||

    Isn't my point clear? I don't think concealed weapons permits make people safer and I think cops should be the ones that deal with right-wingers on a murder spree. This situation is evidence-- anecdotal, to be sure-- that people with concealed gun permits are likely to get shot while acting like policemen. I would suspect 90% of cops would tell you that they would have preferred that mr. Rambo stay the hell out of the situation. Look what it got him. Hope he didn'tT have a wife and kids.

    ftfy

    Oh, and here.

  • american socialist||

    That's pretty cool. Do you want to talk about statistics regarding rates of suicide in homes with and without a firearm.

  • sarcasmic||

    Do you always move the goalposts when someone demolishes your pitiful arguments.

  • american socialist||

    Competing anecdotes demolish an argument?

  • MJGreen||

    You say this a week after a kid armed with mace stopped an active shooter from killing more defenseless people.

    Go fuck yourself.

  • Cis Shitlord||

    No, your point was far from clear. And your "evidence" doesn't actually support your point, which explains why you immediately reverted to the appeal to authority (even worse, an appeal to an authority that you only "suspect" exists) fallacy to try to bolster it.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    What do you call it when left wingers go on a killing spree? :Socialism.

  • MJGreen||

    I thought the popular notion is that this poor soul, who tried to help where the police couldn't, is supposed to have whipped out his gun and killed even more people through recklessness. Right? It's not that he ultimately failed and died for it, but that his trying to intervene would cause even more innocent death and destruction.

    And the Millers were eventually stopped by armed private citizens.

  • american socialist||

    I have to say I'm disappointed in your response. Aren't the Millers an affinity group anarchist fellow traveler? I thought I would at least get a "Revolution!" from one of you "anarchists" on this board and you were my leading candidate. Fuck the police! They got what was coming to them!

  • american socialist||

    Francisco d'Anconia|6.10.14 @ 11:41AM|#

    "Yes, much better to die a quivering pile of spinless shit than attempting to defend yourself."

    You mean live as a quivering pile..., right? Yes, I quite agree. He was attempting to defend himself? I thought he was attempting to be a police man. Fuck that... Those people get paid to deal with that shit.

  • ElevenOnly||

    Right, cause the cops did so much better.

    Oh wait, two of them got shot too.

  • Zing||

    You mean live as a quivering pile..., right?

    So, like you.

  • Will4Freedom||

    Mikey wants a big toy. Doesn't want to pay for it himself.

    Invent "need", get tax dollars. Problem solved.

  • Dread Pirate Roberts||

    To be fair, we have to compensate Sheriff Gayer somehow for his microdick.

  • Juice||

    Oh sure, when the Nevada cop killer says there's a war between cops and citizens, excuse me, civilians, he's totally nuts. But when a cop says it, it's just common sense and he needs more battle armor.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    The funny part of the Cops having MRAPS is, if they ever had to deal with IED's like we did in Afghanistan, the MRAPS are not going to do what I think these fat guys think they are going to do.

  • GamerFromJump||

    It's a war zone all right. You're the OPFOR against the American citizen.

  • jdgalt||

    The real reason why is that this Sheriff has decided to be at war against the American people.

    In which case we'd better return the favor.

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