Police

Why Wouldn't a Small-City Police Department Need an Armored Vehicle?

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This is one heavily armed recreational vehicle.

Concord, California, is a Bay-Area city of about 120,000 people which serves, at least in part, as a bedroom community for San Francisco. It has a good climate, a fine location, but something … something has been missing until recently. Now, though, the Concord Police Department SWAT team has its very own own armored vehicle.

From ConcordPatch:

Concord Police's SWAT team will make a public debut Saturday, of "Mamba," an armored vehicle awarded to the department from a U.S. Department of Defense surplus donation program.

Mamba is a bullet-proof, 11-seater "bath tub" that will provide the Special Weapons and Tactics team with a new level of protection previously unavailable as a resource in high-risk calls and operations, said Lt. David Hughes, of the Concord Police Department. 

"Armored personnel vehicles provide essential physical protection and mobility for officers when they need to contain or confront armed and violent suspects," said Hughes. "The fundamental purpose of any armored vehicle is to save lives and prevent injury. This includes the lives of hostages, innocent civilians, the officers themselves, and also the life of the suspect."

It's a little difficult to figure out just what in Hell Concord is going to do with the thing, but if somebody offers you a tank (or tank-ish vehicle, if you will) you take the damned tank.

And, under the 1033 program, the Defense Department is giving away lots of military goodies to law-enforcement agencies around the country. Missouri says it has received "aircraft (both fixed wing and rotary)," and Texas lists as available to local police departments, M-16 rifles, M-14 rifles, Model 1911 .45 pistols, aircraft and armored response vehicles. Four years ago, Radley Balko wrote for Reason that "the sheriff and SWAT team of Richland County, South Carolina, posed for a photo with an impressive new piece of equipment: an M113A1 armored personnel carrier." With that kind of escalation, can Concord cops afford to not have a tank.

It's OK. They'll find something to do with it. Something, perhaps, like this from the Courthouse News Service:

PHOENIX (CN)—A chicken farmer claims actor Steven Seagal and dozens of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's officers blasted through his gated driveway with a tank to arrest him on camera for Seagal's TV show, "Steven Seagal: Lawman," though he had been cleared of cockfighting allegations a month before by the Phoenix Police Department.

Washed-up action stars can't be expected to kick in doors by themselves, you know, That's what surplus military equipment is for.

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  1. “And the quarterback is toast!”

    1. The Leon County sheriff has one of those. Every time I see it, I think of that scene and my blood pressure returns to normal.

      1. Ironically enough, in that scene, SWAT was being used for a legitimate reason: to take down dangerous criminals who were holed up with hostages. If you want to see a scene that really helps with your blood pressure, watch Waco: The Rules of Engagement. There’s footage in there of the ATF (or maybe it was FBI, I can’t remember) assault team slinking backward with their hands raised after they’d just gotten their asses handed to them in the initial assault against the church. Not walking backward – slinking backward. Repeated viewings of that are good for the mind, body, and soul.

        1. Ironically enough, in that scene, SWAT was being used for a legitimate reason: to take down dangerous criminals who were holed up with hostages

          And it was really true to life because they did absolutely no intelligence gathering before endangering the lives of the hostages by going in full force.

          1. “Hans! Hans! You made your point! Let them pull back!”

            “Thank you Mr. Cowboy, I’ll take that under advice. Now hit them again.”

            1. The best performance either of them ever gave.

              1. Obviously you’ve never heard of Galaxy Quest or The Bonfire Of The Vanities.

                No, wait…

                1. He was great in Sweeney Todd. The man can blow up buildings and sing!

  2. Answer:

    For the coming American police state, of course.

    1. Coming? Oh, here it is now.

      1. Not done yet, but close.

  3. Fifty bucks says that Newport Beach PD can kick their ass.

  4. It’s for “high-risk” arrests, because cops usually arrest suspects without leaving there vehicles.

    1. No kidding. Just how many times has a SWATtie been shot up driving to the scene, anyway?

      Because that’s when this protects you. You still have to get out of it do any kind of copping. Except, of course, covert surveillance, which this would be perfect for.

      1. Yeah. It’s totally inconspicuous. Doesn’t stand out at all.

      2. Don’t make me get out of this tank, kid.

  5. Washed-up action stars can’t be expected to kick in doors by themselves, you know.

    Ah, sarcasm. The pinnacle of wit.

    1. …he said, sarcastically.

      1. “That’s what.” — She

  6. Are you sure that’s not the new Ford Expedition?

    1. Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts.

    2. What’s good for GM is good for America.

  7. You’ll be glad they have these things when the aliens invade.

    1. Damn Mexicans and their laser rifles!

  8. … essential physical protection …

    Concord must be a real shithole if the police need an armored car to survive.

    1. There were 44,020 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.22.
      In the city the age of the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.
      The median income for a household in the city was $55,597, and the median income for a family was $62,093. Males had a median income of $45,734 versus $34,860 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,727. About 5.2% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.0% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.

      Truly, it is a place where the living envy the dead.

      1. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.

        This is a good ratio. But it could be improved.

      2. Concord is not nearly the bedroom community for SF that towns to the south and southwest of it are. However, it is probably the city with the largest concentration of “undocumented workers” in the East Bay. Many Mexican grocery stores.

  9. if somebody offers you a tank (or tank-ish vehicle, if you will) you take the damned tank.

    Damn right I would.

    Although, I am wondering what molotov cocktail under the engine would do while its parked.

    1. Under the gas tank would probably work better.

      It’s still a thin-skinned vehicle by military standards and not really “bullet-proof”.

      Basically a big, heavy Jeep that gets really shitty gas mileage.

      1. I hope RC was just talking about disabling it, not cooking the occupants.

        1. Molotov cocktails are not particularly discriminating.

          1. True, but the placement of it could mean whether or not they get out in time.

        2. I hope RC was just talking about disabling it, not cooking the occupants.

          Well, totalling it out, but, yeah, I was envisioning it more in the po po parking lot between “missions”.

          1. Call it The Pigpen. We will know what you mean.

  10. Well, it can be long before they all get drones, too. Cops should oppose this militarization of police forces, because they’ll be making themselves obsolete when drones and robots take over police work.

    1. nah….for many cops, it’s like a penis extender. The military has far less tolerance for dog-shooting and doughnut consumption.

  11. The silver lining in all this is that once The Revolution is in full play it will be much easier to steal shit like this from pigpens as opposed to taking it from a military base.

    1. 1. I have more faith in enlisted Soldiers and Marines than city cops.

      2. Against actual military weapons, your lifespan inside that vehicle would be a few seconds.

      1. Not if half the military joins ranks with the civilian revolutionaries. And takes their shit with them.

        1. This is similar to what I envision.

        2. That is what I meant. Infantry and Armor NCO’s are far less likely to follow illegal orders than most police.

      2. I have more faith in enlisted Soldiers and Marines than city cops.

        Perversely enough, I’ve given this some thought lately and I agree. The guys I know who served (I didn’t) would refuse to engage U.S. civilians IMHO. Brutalizing the citizenry is literally what cops do for a living.

  12. Personally, I wish I were the judge in the chicken-farmers lawsuit against Seagle and Arpaio. I’d sentance them both to make full restitution in labor cleaning up the coops at minimum wage. Then they could could advertise a new show: Steven Seagle: Chickenshit Scraper.

    1. But you’re not, so nothing will happen.

      1. Fair enough. Just a semi-humorous attempt at venting.

    2. Seriously, a SWAT team for cock fighting? What would these goofs do for an armed robbery – drop a MOAB?

      1. Don’t be ridiculous, John. This isn’t Philly.

        1. That was no MOAB, just a little, bitty 4 lbs of C-4. Hey, fires just start sometimes!

        2. That was no MOAB, just a little, bitty 4 lbs of C-4. Hey, fires just start sometimes!

        3. That was no MOAB, just a little, bitty 4 lbs of C-4. Hey, fires just start sometimes!

        4. That was no MOAB, just a little, bitty 4 lbs of C-4. Hey, fires just start sometimes!

          1. Gah – die, squirrels, die!

    3. In the style of his early film trailers with three word titles…..”Steven Seagal IS….Violating Your Rights!”

  13. The police are quickly taking on the appearance of Hessian mercenaries, quartered in our midst will decreasing approval.

  14. My town’s police came down my street this morning. I think they were lost (it’s a little cul-de-sac that a lot of GPSs think crosses the creek at the end).

    1. And nothing else happened?

  15. It’s obvious that the only real use for this type of vehicle is to intimidate the public. It serves the same purpose as full riot gear and those black storm trooper SWAT uniforms – to scare the shit out of people.

    1. It would be a pretty ideal vehicle for a zombie apocalypse. Tough enough to resist the undead, but not as clumsy and thirsty as a real tank or APC.

  16. Well, I am pretty sure (in Internet confidence units) that Hitler’s head was saved and that the ubiquitous and nefarious “they” are imminently going to reattach the head so that the mustachioed one can lead an uprising of neo…or is it retro??? neoretroNazi’s – cause California wine country is where they hang out with all the aging hippies… cause… cause the like wine and cheese damnit.

      1. Only it’s in the center of the earth under Antarctica.

        By the way, that clip is from one of the worst movies ever made.

        1. By the way, that clip is from one of the worst movies ever made.

          I haven’t seen that one, but if Jake Busey lent his considerable talents to it, then it can’t possibly be bad.

          But speaking of (un)dead Nazis, another movie out of Norway, Dead Snow, was midly amusing. It might still be on Netflix

  17. Posse Comitatus? What’s that?

    1. Largely ignored

    2. Posse Comitatus? What’s that?

      That thing that the government is doing an end-run around by militarizing local police departments.

  18. That “secret” ordinance range where MythBusters blows stuff up isn’t too far away from Concord. Maybe they can blow up an armored vehicle?

  19. I’m still waiting on powered armor. And I mean Gundam style, none of that Bubblegum crisis form- fitting nonsense.

    1. 27 1/3 years in, and I never got a Starship Trooper armor suit…sigh.

      1. Not when you get out that soon, quitter!

        1. The current depth record for a 1atm suit is like 2,000 feet. I wonder what it would be like to have one of the seals fail at that depth. I’m betting it would suck.

          1. Not for long.

          2. I’m betting it would suck.

            Technically it would implode. Minor difference.

    2. My son 11-year-old son just finished “Starship Troopers” and described it as “the most awesome book ever”. Makes the old man proud.

      I debate between the Starship Troopers, Hymn Before Battle, or Armor (John Steakley) combat suits. I do like the nuke cruise missiles on Heinlein’s suits.

      1. Ringo’s have the alien crazy tech. Plus March of Cambreadth.

  20. Texas lists as available to local police departments . . . Model 1911 .45 pistols

    I’m actually completely okay with that specific one. A Colt 1911 is a serviceable and reasonable police sidearm, the military bought a huge number of them back in WWII that have just sat in stockpiles ever since, and (most of) the military no longer uses it.

    1. Hell, if the army has warehouses full of these things, why aren’t we airdropping crates them into Syria?

      1. Hell, if the army has warehouses full of these things, why aren’t we airdropping crates them into Syria?

        Fuck Syria! If there really were warehouses of these things, since they’re no longer a standard-issue sidearm, they should sell them to the public. I’d love to have an actual GI 1911.

        1. Give ’em to the CMP – I’ll take one if it’s cheap.

  21. http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/7.6 bobmauled.jpg

    Maplewood police dog mauls 65-year old Bob Rozmarynowski [PHOTOS]

    A police chase took an awful turn this past Monday when an innocent bystander was mauled by a police dog.
    Robert Rozmarynowski, 65, was out for his usual early morning walk at 3:45 in Maplewood when he heard someone yell, “Stop or I’m gonna shoot!” Rozmarynowski saw a man running toward him and jump over a fence. Then he saw Rebel, the police dog.

    “What did the dog see?” Rozmarynowski says. “Me. And he came at me full-force.”

    As the dog tore into Rozmarynowski, the Maplewood police officer who was chasing the suspect called the dog off.

    At that point, the fleeing suspect surrendered.

    “I’m giving up, I’m giving up, don’t send the dog!” Rozmarynowski claims the suspect said.
    A cop helped Rozmarynowski up and sent him to the hospital, where doctors treated his injuries.

    Maplewood Deputy Chief Dave Kvam confirmed the incident to City Pages and says the police department will pay Rozmarynowski’s medical expenses.

    “What I told Mr. Rozmarynowski was we had agreed to pay for his shirt and pants and the actual bill at Saint John’s,” Kvam says.

    http://blogs.citypages.com/blo…..ld_man.php

    1. “What I told Mr. Rozmarynowski was we had agreed to pay for his shirt and pants and the actual bill at Saint John’s,” Kvam says.

      I’m hoping they are too incompetent to get a full release from him, so he can sue them later for pain and suffering.

      1. I’m hoping they are too incompetent to get a full release from him, so he can sue them the people of Maplewood later for pain and suffering.

        Much more better.

        I bet, though, if Mr. Rozmarynowski had fought back and injured the dog, he’d have been charged with something.

        1. Hey, did they check the dog for injured teeth or a hurt paw/claw? You might be on to something.

    2. more reason bigorati…

      look it worked. mr. Rozmarynowski’s assistance caused the suspect to surrender himself peacefully. what’s wrong with what happened? in my agency this would be considered fine police work.

      don’t answer. you can’t. gotta go, i have band practice and then a date with a couple really hot women.

  22. stupid cops, give m them paper bags for Armour!

    http://www.Privacy-Peeps.tk

  23. I lived and worked in and around Concord for a period of several years during the late 1970s. “Good climate” is not a term I would use to describe the place, unless your standard for “good” is Scottsdale AZ. Most of the time it seemed hotter than hell, but not, I’ll admit, as hot as Redding or King City. I am not at all surprised that they are getting military armament there, however. Remember that this is the general neighborhood where sidewalk lemonade stands were shut down; the pols and bureaucrats in this region all seemed to have similar mindsets when I lived there, and perhaps they still do, to judge from more recent news reports.

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