Why American Cops Really Want All Those Ex-Military Armored Vehicles
Hint--it's not because of terrorists
[T]he single most common reason agencies requested a mine-resistant vehicle was to combat drugs. Fully a quarter of the 465 requests projected using the vehicles for drug enforcement. Almost half of all departments indicated that they sit within a region designated by the federal government as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. (Nationwide, only 17 percent of counties are HIDTAs.) One out of six departments were prepared to use the vehicles to serve search or arrest warrants on individuals who had yet to be convicted of a crime. And more than half of the departments indicated they were willing to deploy armored vehicles in a broad range of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) raids.
By contrast, out of the total 465 requests, only eight percent mention the possibility of a barricaded gunman. For hostage situations, the number is seven percent, for active shooters, six percent. Only a handful mentioned downed officers or the possibility of terrorism.
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