Ah, 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.
Or, 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?