Thursday, June 26, 2014

‘Virtually Crime Free’ County in Florida Gets MRAP Armored Vehicle


Residents express outrage at “intimidation tactic” used to “strike fear”

florida-MRAP
Residents of a virtually crime free county in Florida are expressing outrage over a decision by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office to purchase an MRAP armored vehicle normally used to hunt insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The Walton County Sheriff’s Office got the mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle for the cost of transporting it. The vehicle, for which the department paid $2,500, was a surplus military vehicle that was demilitarized for law enforcement use,” reports NWF Daily News.

Walton County Sheriff’s Officer Mike Adkinson denied that the purchase of the vehicle was an attempt to militarize the police department, adding that he wouldn’t let public opinion get in the way of the “safety” of his colleagues.

“This is not the federal government intruding on your civil liberties,” wrote Adkinson in a Facebook post. “Would you really want them sent into harm’s way without the best protection available, simply because the military originally purchased this vehicle?”

This didn’t stop residents expressing their anger at the decision to buy the vehicle, with one commenting that the purchase represented “an offensive intimidation method used to controll [sic] and strike fear.”

Another respondent agreed, remarking, “This doesn’t make the officers safer. All studies show that the more militarized a department becomes, the more often officers get hurt. This is Walton County, Florida, not Iraq, not Afghanistan.”

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