Militarization of Police

Sheriff's Department Definitely Needs a Mine-Resistant Vehicle for All Those Mines in Tennessee

But seriously, it doesn't.


A sheriff's department in Tennessee is the lucky recipient of a military-style mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle. This is a vehicle that the U.S. Army uses to weather improvised explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, and mines.

Here's a photo, courtesy of the Tennessee Department of General Services:

"It will be put to good use!!" the Greene County Sheriff's Department replied.

Under the National Defense Authorization Act, the military can transfer excess equipment to local law enforcement agencies, largely for counter-drug and counter-terrorism activities. The big question, of course, is why police in Greene County, with a population of roughly 70,000, need a mine-resistant vehicle to fight the war on drugs. Are there a lot of land mines in Tennessee?

Unsurprisingly, Twitter users have had a field day with this:

If the deputies run into any RPGs, they should post a photo of that too. Til then, I think those angry tweeters have a point.

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  1. Wait until they find out what it does to the county’s paved roads. Or is that part of the appeal?

    1. What paved roads?

  2. The cost of maintaining that should come out of pension funds.

  3. You wouldn’t criticize if you knew how big the mosquitos get in that part of the state.

    1. And some of the mosquitoes wear hoodies.

      1. And some of the hoodies have candy bars

  4. “Unsurprisingly, Twitter users have had a field day with this:”

    What are we, chopped liver?

  5. You got any idea what the blast radius of a moonshine still is?

    1. Or for you damn kids: You got any idea what the blast radius of a meth lab is?

      1. Pseudoephedrine or methylamine?

  6. Honestly, I’d much rather this sort of surplus stuff be handed out than heavy weapons. If the armor’s excessive, at least the hulking all-terrain vehicle can be put to good use in bad weather/natural disaster situations.

    1. If the armor’s excessive, at least the hulking all-terrain vehicle can be put to good use in bad weather/natural disaster situations.

      Achewally – it can’t.

      Its too heavy. Seriously. Anything other than hardpack and its likely to get stuck. Oh, and its a fuel hog – not what you need during a time when fuel resupply will be spotty.

      1. In addition, it’s so unaerodynamic and top-heavy (to be above the worst of mine explosions), I’m fairly certain that it would tip over in a hurricane.

  7. In 10 years this will be a big pile of rust out back of the sheriff’s office.

    1. Propped up on milk crates, amiright?

  8. Our county received one of these POS a few years ago. Turns out its too heavy for many of the local bridges. I read the contract, they were supposed to return it within a year if it is not used in an official capacity so they use it at the car show and the local gun range once a year to justify its cost. they did say they may need it if there is a problem at the school but the problem is it can’t get up the stairs and it won’t fit in the hallways so its still a bogus POS. It only good for hiding behind and they could do that with anything. they touted they could use it for search and rescue but around these mountains atv’s, jeeps and horses are better for that than that that POS. they are a joke. In other words I don’t like our county having a military weapon, for when the cops look and act like the military whats the difference between them and a standing army which is un constitutional.

    thats my 2?

    1. “”they did say they may need it if there is a problem at the school “”
      “” It only good for hiding behind””

      Some Sheriffs in FL needed one for that purpose.

    2. The paranoid cynic in me wonders whether this isn’t just the latest assault on Posse Comitatus, the law that the US Fed can’t use the US Army domestically against its own population.

      We’ve been presented with a couple of different reasons in recent decades why this law needs to be overturned from “it prevents us from catching the terrorists and drug dealers” to “it’s obsolete and irrelevant, means nothing and is simply clogging up our law books.”

      Ever since that last one failed to take, there’s been a massive wave of military equipment being donated to local law enforcement. As they start to do serious damage to communities with this equipment, I won’t be surprised to hear something along the lines of “well, see, we’re prevented from training these guys on how to use this equipment because of that pesky Posse Comitatus Act, would you like to help us get them trained so everyone can be safe?”

      1. I think it’s a way for the military to offload items they do not need and do not want to store. Maybe they can be recalled by the military if needed for another war.

        However, with government it’s good to be a cynic.

        1. Yeah – my lived experience with watching government try to plan things and then execute those plans does conflict with my theory. The more realistic fear is an unintended opportunistic use of such situations, rather than it unfolding as a deliberate plan.

  9. Tennessee has lots of mines.

    Coal mines, copper mines, silver mines, zinc mines, gem mines…

    1. hide loot in mines, mine-resistant vehicles can’t find.

      1. Hey! That loot is mine!

        1. Beware the mines in the mine because the mine loot is mine, and my mine loot is mined with mines in the mine.

    2. If there is anything I learned from Justified, it’s that mines are the best place to dump a dead body.

      1. And hot ex wives who get remarried to foppish Realtors just need a good hard schtuppin to leave the new man.

  10. If the deputies run into any RPGs, they should post a photo of that too.

    Insert histrionic Hihn rant here.

    1. If people are playing Dungeons & Dragons (role playing game) in the middle of the street…well, you can’t fix stupid.

      1. How many sides on the dice to get a save from the MRAP?

        1. Saving throws are usually d20.

          1. Yeah, how does an “old school” person not know that?

          2. If you have a standard tabletop gamer, they’ll probably need a 10 to get out of the way. A Larper should be nimble enough to get out unless they roll a natural one. A modern video gamer with a bad case of Nintendo thumb? They’d need to get a natural 20 to get out of that thing’s way.

  11. Have you guys not been watching the news? Do you have any idea how many white-supremacist alt-right Nazis they have down there? Extremist violence on the alt-right is exploding in epidemic proportions! Heck, I’m surprised they didn’t put in for a couple of apache helicopters to go with it.

  12. I can’t believe there’s no clip of “send in the car” from Die Hard.

  13. On the other hand, come the revolution, this can be put to good use by the militia as they storm the TSA offices to free the political prisoners – – – –

  14. guns inward is wrong.

  15. All law enforcement agencies need a mine resistant vehicle.
    Just look how many cops have been killed by mines the past few years.
    How many more cops have to be killed before American communities recognize we need to militarize our cops more?

    1. Wait, who signed off on this? FoE? John? BUCS?
      All this 1.5 spacing and larger typeface. Ugh. I feel like someone replaced my lego star destroyer with duplos.

      1. You’re supposed to be looking at this on a mobile device.

        1. While driving.

          1. And avoiding mines

    2. These changes offend my conservative sensibilities.

  16. Now they posted another copy of this article without the comments.

  17. Wouldn’t strike drones be cheaper? More bang for the buck?

  18. We have some very rural areas that have modern armor. Ostego NY has a pop of 65, 000 and that is for the entire county. The major metropolitan area is village of Copperstown with a pop of about 1850. County is 95% white so maybe baseball fans are the problem.

    Basically big boy toys paid for by the taxpayers.

    Here is the country wide list of who has what as of 2014. Really interesting.

  19. Barney Fife with an MRAP.

    What could go wrong?

  20. “With his new vehicle, Boss Hogg let out a chuckle, thinkin’ about how them Duke boys would be for one heck of a surprise.”

  21. Now that the comment feature is working again (after a fashion), let me try again to post this:

    It was all a misunderstanding, really. the Sheriff heard that one of the early American calendars predicted the world to end about this time, so they asked for anti-*Mayan* vehicles.

  22. Anticipating General Cheeto’s next Border Idea, several more MRAPs have been sent to El Paso. Just in case they have to cross the minefield. That hasn’t been laid. Yet.

    1. You have so much in common with that field…

      1. Ouch.

  23. Defense Department gives them away for FREE. Free seems like a pretty good deal for an all-terrain vehicle that’s bulletproof and can drive through water four feet deep.

  24. There are lots and lots of mines in Tennessee! Tennessee has a history of mining more different kinds of mineral resources than any other state east of the Mississippi River except North Carolina.

  25. One of the local Tennessee counties got an armored personnel carrier, tracked vehicle, during the Obama Admin.
    It was used in a couple of rescues of injured hikers in very remote areas inaccessible to ordinary vehicles (even ATV). The other option would have been to walk the EMTs in and piggyback the injured out. (The forest canopy was too thick for helicopter evacuation.)
    It was taken away due to yabber about “militarization of the police” and “does the sheriff’s office really need a tank?”

    Why does this sheriff department need a military surplus wheeled armored vehicle for SRT (Special Response Team) use, when they could buy a new armored van for SRT commercially?
    Hmmm. Maybe their budget allows for maintenance of a donated vehicle, but not purchase and maintenance?

    It is too easy to be a smart alec on the internet these days.

  26. Does this technological wonder comply to fuel efficiency standards ? Or is it a wast of Petrol and Taxpayer money ?

    Asking for a friend 🙂

  27. It’s telling that the federal government thinks peppering MRAPs across the country is necessary.

  28. Technically, they are call MRDEs, mine resistant dick extenders.

  29. Does anyone realize that armor piercing, fin stabilized, discarding sabot projectiles can be loaded into muzzle loading cannons?

  30. Maybe they’re anticipating the use of IEDs in the coming 2nd American Revolution… Though I would expect the mines to be laid around the megacities to keep the taxpayers trapped inside.

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