Militarization of Police

City Council Tells Cops To 'Tank the Tank' In Davis, California

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kid_entropy/Flickr

More of this, please! In Davis, California, the city council has given local police 60 days to kindly dispose of the military vehicle* it was gifted from the federal government. According to CBS Sacramento, the Davis City Council acted Tuesday under pressure from residents who had been circulating a petition against the mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle and demanding the local police department "tank the tank", as one protestor's shirt read.

From CBS: 

The vehicle, worth nearly $700,000 didn't cost the Davis Police Department a dime, as it was acquired through a federal government surplus program. The MRAP was developed by the military for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After Pentagon budget cuts, the vehicle has been making its way to local law enforcement.

Davis Police Chief Landry Black made the department's case for the acquisition, showing high-power weapons his officers have confiscated this year.

A big concern for protesters is the vehicle could be used to quash peaceful protests and demonstrations, especially in light of clashes between heavily-armored police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown.

And here's the money quote of the story, for it's perfect cop-ness: 

"We enjoy a certain quality of life but none the less the real world intrudes upon us from time to time," Black said. 

You hear that? It's all soccer practices and yard sales until … what? What could possibly require the police in Davis, California—population 65,622—to possess their own army-grade MRAP? I'm glad the residents of Davis don't seem too convinced of its necessity, either. 

For more on military gear the Department of Defense is giving to small-town cops—along with bouncy castles and French horns—see this post from Reason Foundation's Lauren Galik. 

* I originally referred to this as a tank, which I've been informed (thanks, commenters!) is not at all correct. 

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  1. I’m surprised and heartened to see this. People have been laying down for the cops for so long, I gave up hope of a backlash.

    We enjoy a certain quality of life but none the less the real world intrudes upon us from time to time

    Ha, at first I thought he was talking about just cops. Because that would be even more “perfect cop-ness”.

    1. Ha, at first I thought he was talking about just cops.

      What makes you think he wasn’t?

    2. I taught at UC Davis for years. The town has essentially no crime. Like if a brick wall at a park got tagged, that would be the lead on the local crime page for weeks.

      The closest city, Sacramento (about 10 miles away), doesn’t even really have crime, considering its size. You have to go all the way to Stockton to get real crime.

      1. Sacramento has the CA government.

        I think you might want to reassess your statement about crime there.

  2. This will ruin their plans to outfit that vehicle with pepper spray cannons on all sides.

    1. They were also planning on putting an oscillating red LED on the front of it and giving it a Pursuit Mode. Plus David Hasselhoff (I hear he needs the work).

      1. They don’t need David Hasselhoff. They already have Lt. John Pike.

        1. But who is the useless chick?

  3. Not to quibble, but I’ll quibble.

    Is an MRAP really a “tank”? Cause I think it’s not. I think a “tank” is a treaded (generally) vehicle with a huge fucking cannon, sometimes fixed, but usually in a rotating turret.

    This is a souped up pickup truck/HUMVEE with a shit ton of armor.

    Scary and big and imposing and threatening – but I wouldn’t call it a “tank”.

    That’s just my opinion – I could be wrong.

    1. Otherwise, spot on a usual, and fuck this guy: “We enjoy a certain quality of life but none the less the real world intrudes upon us from time to time,” Black said.

    2. Fuck ’em. If semi-auto weapons are “assault weapons,” then this is a fucking tank.

      1. For me, a tank is anything that is big and loud and can run over things.

        1. Like …. Mike Brown?

    3. I am certainly no tank expert, so that’s probably right. But I think people use tank sort of colloquially to refer to any big, armored military vehicle….

      1. “Tank the armored truck” doesn’t quite slide off the tongue, either.

        1. CRAP the MRAP?

    4. I play a lot of World of Tanks. So I am an expert. If the mounted gun is fixed, it is a tank destroyer. Like the Jadgtiger 8.8 or the the Hetzer.

      But yeah, a MRAP is just a truck on steroids.

    5. Enough of you protested that I changed it…..

      1. You should never have given in to us, Elizabeth. Now we know we can pressure you. Plus, we’re idiots.

        1. Well, I asked around the office too. And Lauren G. looked at me like an idiot when I said ‘can you call this a tank?’ sooo

          1. Oh, so our opinion isn’t good enough for you now? SHEESH

          2. You so awesome, ENB!

            Despite not knowing from tanks, etc.

            Carry on.

          3. In my opinion, it should be confirmed whether it is or not by an expert. Not ask around the office. Otherwise, as someone noted earlier, terms get mixed up like they are about guns.

            Reason doesn’t want that, right?

    6. This is a souped up pickup truck/HUMVEE with a shit ton of armor.

      Right, and there is a widely-accepted military terms for such vehicles: armored personnel carrier (APC).

      1. *term

        I was going to differentiate between an IFV and a APC…but meh.

        1. Pretty much the same thing…one just has more guns on it.

          1. Which is about 5 army building points in a Force on Force game.

            1. Yes an IFV can fight in mounted combat, an APC is meant to drop off fighters under extreme conditions.

              Basically a truck for operating while under artillery fire.

      2. It’s more like a Mack truck engine stuck in a body designed to get blown up without killing the people inside. There’s no vehicle like an MRAP, except other MRAPs. And the widely accepted term is just MRAP, because that’s what it is. Nobody calls it an APC of IFV (unless maybe you’re playing Call of Duty).

        Source: I rolled around with these puppies in an actual war zone about five years ago. Older folks who wish we were still fighting the Russkies may refer to them differently.

        1. It’s armored, and it’s main mission is to carry around personnel. Sounds like an APC to me.

          1. There are these things at the airport that fly around and carry people, I think they’re called flying people carriers.

              1. Mine is better:
                http://www.peocscss.army.mil/PMMRAP.html

                Some MRAPs are personnel carriers and others are not.

                1. Kind of like an ATM Machine or a VIN Number …

                2. Fair enough.

                  Serious question, are the cops getting the other types? Like is there a podunk PD with an MRAP-ed armored bulldozer out there?

                  1. I’ve seen pictures of Buffalos, which are designed to probe IEDs, which obviously occur all over your average small town.

                    As for dozers, the military just uses your standard D7 or D8 variety, which anybody can get.

                    1. I’m actually more confused now. Many PDs use BearCats or Bears which they call APCs. The manufacturer’s website lists a Bear MRAP as a variant, as opposed to a separate vehicle. Now perhaps the military wouldn’t consider a Bear to be an APC in the first place, but cops do because they want to sound more badass. I can understand that.

                      But if that’s not the case, what I’m asking you is what makes an MRAP different than an APC, IFV, etc. As I understand it, MRAP is describing the armor and anti-mine capabilities; whereas APC, AFV, etc. describe the primary purpose of the vehicle; transport, combat, recon, etc.

                      Again, I’m not arguing with you. I just want to understand.

                    2. The MRAP has one really unique feature, the boat shaped hull that makes it extra resilient for protecting the crew from mines and IEDs.

                  2. I’ll also ask you to excuse my abrasiveness… it’s been a long day and I’m currently writing discussion responses for night school, which gets my vapors up.

              2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..l_carriers

                Also this, because I have a feeling like there’s some more bullshit incoming. APC is a very specific type of vehicle.

                And:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G…..ng_Vehicle

                Another piece of shit boondoggle, like so many military programs, that died a proper death.

                I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you were confused by the Buffel armored personnel carrier, which was an early version of the MRAP’s v-hull design.

                1. Any vehicle that is armored and has as its main function the carrying of personnel is an APC, because APC means armored personnel carrier (as plenty of others have pointed out) it is in fact very UN-specific, MRAP is used to specifically refer to that type of APC.

                  Think of it like a species, in the family of Armored Vehicles is the genus APC of which MRAP’s are a certain variety or “species”.

    7. Some people don’t consider tracked APCs tanks, but I say they can be. Some of the earliest vehicles referred to as “tanks” were a lot more like the later APCs than traditional tanks. “Tank” was originally nothing but a code-word for a particular vehicle that was in development.

      1. They have different missions. Totally not the same thing.

        1. A tank is a device for moving a huge cannon over really rough terrain so it can fire that cannon at relatively close range. It has people inside it to accomplish that mission.

          An APC is a device for moving a lot of troops over semi-rugged terrain. It may have cannons or other armaments to fire at targets of opportunity.

          An MRAP is an APC that is designed to move over roads that are likely to be infested with mines.

          1. Only if you now consider 3+ kilometers still close.

            Also IFVs are subclass of APCs that are armed enough to be used for mounted combat themselves. The Bradley is still the best example of that capability.

            1. Compared to something like the M109 Palladin, which has a range of up to 30 kilometers, it’s relatively close.

              1. Self-propelled artillery…great, now we have another category!

                *gleefully shines up Ordnance Corps insignia*

      2. History time…

        Tanks are called tanks because the list of ingredients in the original British WWI versions was a lot of the same stuff (steel plate and rivets). For security purposes, they were referred to as tanks on shipping and development documents to conceal what they were.

  4. AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It’s not a fucking tan!K!!!

    /breathes deeply

    1. Picture of actual tank.

      Now that that’s out of the way. Good job people, and more please.

      1. That just gave me a boner, and I’m not even part of the warboner tribe.

        Goddamn how fun would it be to play with an Abrams for an afternoon?

        In a nice safe place like the desert, or a military base….not in the streets of Yourtown, USA…

        1. Favorite fun thing I ever did in a tank was to crush a burned-out little Eurocar thing. Hit it at about 40mph. Tracks spit it out the back about 9-10 feet in the air. Good fun.

          :p

            1. Ours was better. Much better. The thing we hit was smaller and already a bit tore up; rusted, bullet holes, etc. so we were able to hit it at speed. Something as solid as an intact Prius you have to crush more slowly or you could easily throw a track and it will fuck up your boresight.

              It was a foolish thing for us to do, kinda needed to blow off some steam, and I’m glad nothing came of it but a fun memory from an otherwise dismal time.

        2. Or Detroit. Oh..well you might need a tank in Detroit, but no one would notice if you fucked shit up.

          1. From 30 Rock awhile back:

            In other global warming news, a tornado hit downtown Detroit, putting out several fires.

  5. Good. I hope some pigs throw a tantrum when their toys are taken away and more Normals see the pigs for what they are.

    1. Lease don’t call the police “pigs”. For one thing, pigs ate for the most part better behaved and more useful. For another, being in my 50’s I associate the term with the kind of idiology drunk fools who called cops,”pigs” in the ’60’s and 70’s.

      You know, the nitwits that are pushng for total Sate control now.

      1. So what are you, one of the Coppers or something? Warty can call the Coppers what he wants to, see?

        /even older person

      2. Sorry, but “pigs” is the perfect term for them. And we’re not getting off your lawn either.

        1. Nonsense. Pigs attack to rotect territory, to secure mating rights, or to eat (i think they are one of the species in which males kill ffspring of other males, but that comes under the last two). They don’t kill because of ineptitude, or sadism, amd they can’t be bothered to lie about it.

          MUCH better than bad cops.

  6. Ok. I agree; no polce force in the country needs an armored vehucle like this. Not uness they have screwed up community relations so badly that the National Guard needs be called in anyway. But let’s be accurate. This isn’t a tank. It may be a tank’s second cousin, but it isn’t a tank. If I’m going to jump on people for calling “scary looking guns” assault weapons (with the intention of being confused with “assault rfles”, which has a real definition that the “scary guns” don’t meet), I pretty much have to jump on ths kind of thing being called a tank.

    1. OT: Holy Shit is this for real?

      why were South Yorkshire Police incapable of pursuing multiple allegations against multiple men who raped 1,400 children over 16 years?

      1. England has become such a degraded place.

      2. Yet the report found that councillors failed to engage with the town’s Pakistani-heritage community during the inquiry period.

        Some councillors were said to have hoped the issue would “go away”, thinking it was a “one-off problem”.

        The report said several staff members were afraid they would be labelled racist if they identified the race of the perpetrators, while others said they were instructed by their managers not to do so.

        Several councillors interviewed believed highlighting the race element would “give oxygen” to racist ideas and threaten community cohesion.

        Well, congratulations you morally-crippled, Guardian-reading, left-wing pricks! You could have taken decisive action and nipped the issue in the bud causing merely a shoulder-shrug in our mercurial news-cycle world. But, no! Your inaction has insured that mobs of your fellow Englishmen will be roused to grab the nearest man with a brown complexion and swing him from a lamppost.

        You fucking craven pieces of shit!

      3. Wow. Just fucking wow.

      4. Yeah, I read that over at AmCon. I include the link here because, I do not understand why they used the pic they did with this story:

        http://www.theamericanconserva…..rrectness/

        1. I do not understand why they used the pic they did with this story

          Wow, someone must really support Sheffield United. Or Millwall.

          Probably a fucking Millwall supporter.

          1. Nutpunch from the comments: but what worries me as well as all this diabolical abuse and actual rape is the heart breaking testimony of the 24 year old today who saved all her clothing from when she was gang raped and other sexual abuses, handed it all to the police to be used in evidence against the perpetrators and the police ‘LOST’ it all. I wonder what is being lost right now right, right at this moment in time.

            Fucking fuck.

      5. News Flash: Sex with children is common in Islam. How do you expect them to be fine, upstanding Muslims like Mohammed without fucking a nine year-old girl or two? They’re simply striving to follow his most-holy example of pedophilia. You should be grateful they didn’t behead these evil infidel children, as they brought it upon themselves by dressing provocatively, and thereby drove these poor Muslims to lose control and commit rape. Those girls could have cost these men their souls had they not inflicted suitable punishment and degradation. They HAD to do it. You guys are just exhibiting religious intolerance.

      6. Part of me is unsurprised. Part of me is speechless.

        The when lefties are not engaging in depravity they are enabling others to do so.

        Who says that not having an armed citizenry shooting people is always a good thing?

        1. And yes, the culture of the pakis is a reeking cauldron of shit. I don’t give a goddamn if anyone calls me a racist or not.

          If you let pigs in your house you will soon be stomping around in pig shit.

      7. It would seem that vigilantism would be an appropriate response to the perpetrators and the police.

        1. No guns there…

      8. Unreal, our cousins really managed to fuck themselves. Too bad the shits gave up their guns & power and now get to enjoy life as a serfs where their children are sexual toys. I can’t even imagine what would occur had this happened to my family. How detached and dead are these people now to not literally riot & burn down the gov over this.

      9. No fucking wonder they’re breeding British Jihadists.

        If I hear one more Brit brag about 1066…

        1. 1066? You mean the time a small band of Frenchmen managed to seize control their country and hold it for the next 300 years?

          1. Yeah about that being the last time they were invaded.

    2. The bigger concern for me is that these sorts of vehicles are going to become a symbolic sacrifice that government uses to declare that they’ve “fixed” the police militarization problem and change the subject. Unarmed armored vehicles like these are symbolic of the problem of local PDs picking up surplus military gear, but I’d argue they’re by far the least important manifestation of it.

      I think there’s even a reasonable argument to be made that MRAPs and M113s can legitimately be useful to local cops in floods or brush fires or other natural disasters. Rolling them out to serve warrants and break up poker games is ridiculous and arguably contributes to a bad police mentality, but it’s much less directly harmful than distributing assault weapons and flash-bang grenades and funding the proliferation of redundant SWAT teams. That’s where I’d really prefer that the attention be focused.

      1. The bigger concern for me is that these sorts of vehicles are going to become a symbolic sacrifice that government uses to declare that they’ve “fixed” the police militarization problem and change the subject.

        This. Just because we’ve found a foothold to keep us from slipping down the slope for now doesn’t mean that we’re climbing back up from it and doesn’t mean that the foothold will hold very long.

        1. Yeah, the fact that they need a swat team everytime they need to serve a traffic warrent or check on a truent 2nd grader is definately the much bigger problem. Outside of major cities that may actually have a heavily armed multi-hostage situation present itself on more then one occasion, who needs a swat team really.

          1. Thay being said, that armoured carrier is 100% unnecessary for any police department in the US to have.

            1. Agreed, but given that these vehicles are a sunk cost, and sitting around as surplus, I can see some value to employing them in disaster-relief, where their high ground clearance, amphibious capability, and even armor (in a hurricane/tornado/wildfire situation) might prove useful.

              1. Fine,,then donate them to,the local fire department and/or rescue squad and paint them bright red.

          2. In their defense, if that second-grader was in class perhaps he could spell truant.

            -smartass

  7. Wait, this is an ENB post? Something’s missing from the comments.

    COSMOS! ABORTION! WOMINZ HAVING THE SEX!

    1. But not a correction of basic grammar.

    2. She tweeted a “Teen Charged In Rubber Penis Waving Incident” earlier, and I was disappoint when it didn’t show up on H’n’R.

    3. This is why there are no cosmotarian women having sex while giving abortions.

  8. “We enjoy a certain quality of life but none the less the real world intrudes upon us from time to time,” Black said.

    I can’t wait until Red Dawn happens for real. Then the city council will be all “oh I wish we still had that armored vehicle to fight off the Rooskies.” But nope. Off to the gulag with them.

    1. AVENGE MEEEEEEEE…..

    2. Don’t be stupid, Hugh, they’ll just go off into the mountains with a bunch of guns and fight from there. I mean, of course SOME people have to go to the gulag, though; there has to be someone to scream “AVENGE ME”, after all.

      1. And I guess that’ll be JW.

        1. Just consider me H&R’s own Harry Dean Stanton.

          1. Just consider me H&R’s own Harry Dean Stanton
            Don’t go looking for the cat!

    3. You think the cops would fight the russkies? After they pissed themselves they would hand over the keys to them.

      1. They’d be filling out job applications before a shot was fired. The KGB is most cops’ wet dream.

  9. I’ll go ahead and take the credit for this one guys. I visited my old alma mater community last weekend and was speaking about it during brunch with a friend (loudly, as I’m wont to do). Clearly, the residents of Davis were a) aghast at learning this news from me and b) motivated to agitate their city council against this acquisition.

    Interesting to note that I also visited a winery named after me in Sonoma during that trip, creating a singularity that resulted in the Napa earthquake days later.

    1. How much of a college town is Davis. I realize UCD is there but is it a significant factor in the town’s social/cultural life?

      1. Enormous. See my comment below. That population figure of 65,000 people is only valid when classes are in session. The rest of the time the population is closer to 30k.

        1. Thanks.

          That offers a further explanation for the council decision (& the weirdness of the PD buying the thing in the first place). I can’t imagine Lawrence, KS being excited about their PD having something like this.

    2. Your whole story fell apart when you claimed to have a friend.

      1. That’s just what calls his hookers.

    3. There’s a Sudden vineyard?

      1. No, my real life name, not the one I use when I meet hookers or address Epi (but I repeat myself).

  10. You’re Welcome.

  11. You guys are missing the sweet spot in this story: “After Pentagon budget cuts, the vehicle has been making its way to local law enforcement.”

    See? The DoD has LESS money, so the only logical thing to do is GIVE AWAY the equipment they already have. Makes perfect sense inside the beltway. Wait a few years and watch the generals descend on Congress to tell them the budget needs to be increased in order to replace all the $700,000 pieces of equipment they no longer have.

    (And OBTW, there haven’t been any budget cuts to the DoD)

    1. Why we aren’t selling this stuff to our allies, I have no idea.

      1. Nationalist government purchasing laws, maybe?

      2. Because our allies know better than to buy this stuff in the first place?

    2. These things were never budgeted in the first place, that’s why the Army is looking to off-load them. They were developed, built, and bought for Afghanistan only.

      1. Iraq – the MRAP was for resisting the IED in Iraq. They are inelegant; I ended up with some broken fingers when I was in a Brit MRAP that slewed into a ditch near the Basra refinery… I can only imagine what a US cop driving one could do.
        Their use in Afghanistan was “suboptimal” – which is no surprise as an uparmored HMMWV was too much for some of the alleged “roads” to handle. So, they are sitting around, with no foreseeable use.

  12. What could possibly require the police in Davis, California?population 65,622?to possess their own army-grade MRAP

    I would guess that Davis is about the size of Charming.

    1. ?population 65,622

      This is a deceiving stat too. Anyone whose ever visited Davis in both summers and springs can tell you that the actual population is around 32k people, but it doubles when the college is in session.

  13. I hope Chief Black’s insurance includes viagra or cialis, because he’s going to have to find a new way to feel like a man now.

    1. What does it cost per year to maintain a $700,000 truck? I’d say they need to line that amount out of his budget.

      1. Frankly, that cost is probably what’s driving this DoD program more than any insidious desire to militarize the police broadly. They’re just trying to push these maintenance costs down to the muni level and off the federal ledger all while having their toys reasonably maintained enough to access them at a moment’s notice.

  14. I haven’t ever felt so good about my local authorities as when I went and looked on the list of stuff they’ve taken from the military. Which is, pretty much none of this shit, despite being a reasonably large city (670,000 people) right across a pretty sorry excuse for a river from Ciudad Juarez.

    I mean, some rifles (in both 5.56 and 7.62) and some bayonets, that I’m not particularly sure these are appropriate for policing. For some strange reason, some “extreme cold weather” gear, which strikes me as useless in a desert town on the Mexican border. But no grenade launchers, or armored vehicles, or the rest.

    El Paso; we have reasonably sane cops!

    1. For some strange reason, some “extreme cold weather” gear, which strikes me as useless in a desert town on the Mexican border

      Perhaps the magistrates of El Paso are considering a plan to allow convicted murderers and rapists to take the black and go protect our northern border from the Canadian wildlings (savage brutes all doped up on Tim Horton’s and Labbatt Blue).

      1. We’ll need them, too, now that the Canadians have rallied around their new leader, the Burger King-Beyond-the-Wall.

    2. Check the County, too.

      That might be where the war surplus gear is being dumped.

      1. This was the site that shows all law enforcement requests in the whole county. We had the county sheriff commenting that the places that got armored vehicles and the like were being ridiculous.

    3. Miami-Dade County also got “extreme cold weather gear”. It’s Miami. Extreme cold weather. Miami. Yeah.

      Miami also got 4 MRAPs. And grenade launchers. The place scares me. I’m glad I no longer live or work there.

      1. Miami-Dade County also got “extreme cold weather gear”. It’s Miami. Extreme cold weather. Miami. Yeah.

        Just taking their cues from the documentary movie Police Academy: Mission to Moscow.

    4. Aren’t deserts cold at night?

      1. Some are; I don’t know about El Paso.

        I know from my time at Irwin, that I went from 95 to 20 and snow and back to 75 in 24 hrs while riding around in an open top HMMWV. In March.

      2. Some can be. El Paso isn’t. I mean, you can get an occasional cold snap, but the average nighttime low in the months of December and January is 32.5.

  15. You hear that? It’s all soccer practices and yard sales until … what? What could possibly require the police in Davis, California?population 65,622?to possess their own army-grade MRAP?

    Why, the Rt. Rev. Alfred Charles Sharpton, Jr. and his minions, of course …

  16. Hey, as others point out, if that shoulder thing that flips up plus a 30 round “clip” makes a machine gun, then that thing is straight out of Gundam Wing

  17. “B-b-but. We need to get HOME!!!”

    /hugs tank.

  18. If it walks like a tank and quacks like a tank…

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