Militarization of Police

Connecticut Town Approves "Free" Military Vehicle For Cops That Will Cost $54,000 in Asset Forfeiture Funds to Modify, Because Police Say Mass Shootings Are Up

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As reader Timothy M. points out, the following story from The Hartford Courant has a lot to upset Reason readers. The Courant reports on a vote in Newington, Connecticut:

The town council has approved a bid waiver that will allow the police department to modify a mine- and ambush-proof military vehicle that they acquired from a government surplus program.

Police plan to send the six-wheeled BAE Caiman, which was designed to carry troops into combat in Afghanistan, to a specialized firm for $54,000 worth of modifications. Changes to the vehicle include removal of its firing ports and installation of running lights and a radio system. The council voted unanimously earlier this month to allow the work to proceed without bidding.

The town's police chief said he was pleased the vote was unanimous. He called the vehicle "free" despite the $54,000 price tag for (no-bid) modifications. That's going to be paid for through the asset forfeiture fund. Why does Newtington need this military vehicle? Mass shootings have been up, the chief says. Connecticut, home to some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, passed a new set of them this year, laws so draconian and unenforcably they were mostly ignored, leaving politicians shocked. Oh, and Connecticut is home to cops like this. And state's attorneys who protect bad cops like this. Oh, and a court in Connecticut recently ruled police can arrest you for being too physically close to someone being arrested.

NEXT: Damon Root on Fatal Police Shootings and Self-Serving Police Narratives

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  1. Changes to the vehicle include removal of its firing ports

    and welding shut the hatches.

    1. plus doughnuts!

    2. Tags! You’re it!

  2. Sounds like Connecticut doesn’t really welcome me, after all.

    That’s coo. I’ll stay clear…

  3. Roided up law enforcement professionals now have something cool in which to cower until the next school shooting is over.

  4. Mass shootings in Newington are up? Why hasn’t this made the news?

  5. Without pictures to go on, I feel like we need to devise some kind of scale for rating the size and capabilities of these surplus vehicles. Something like the number of dogs you can shoot from inside, or number of minority children you can run over per hour.

  6. Changes to the vehicle include removal of its firing ports and installation of running lights and a radio system.

    1. Why remove the firing ports? I mean, I know they’re not going to need them but having them there doesn’t affect anything. IMO not worth the expense. Worst case, hire a local welder to tack weld them shut.

    And anyway – if a cops have such a dangerous job and mass shootings are on the rise they could come in handy.

    2. What running lights? The things already come with headlights, brake-lights, *and* NVG lighting standard.

    3. Radio system? I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that this is not an MP3 player, but your local electronics shop could install the mount and run a power and antenna cable for less than $200 I bet. Hell it probably already has a PRC mount so you just need to install the mount and replace the power and antenna connectors.

    $54k – fucking government contractors at their best.

    1. And the Cayman is fething HUGE. Its not an overgrown SUV like most of these guys have been getting. Its right on the edge of being a bonified APC.

      1. *Bona fide.

    2. It’s $1000 for changes to the truck.

      $53,000 for graft and cronyism.

      And remember, it’s being paid by asset forfeiture, so, everything is theft and cronyism from the ground up.

  7. $54k might buy a decent lunch in Connecticut.

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