Congratulations! Your tiny town has an MRAP and is ready for war

Here at The Watch, we’re looking for the smallest town in America to acquire an MRAP, or Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored personnel vehicle.

For the past few years, the Pentagon has been giving these vehicles to police departments across the country. The unwieldy behemoths have little real application in domestic police work. They’re designed for use on a battlefield. (The Pentagon offers no training to police departments when it gives the vehicles away. And they’ve been known to tip over.)

But police departments are snatching them up. It’s part of the general trend toward more militarized domestic police forces that’s been happening since about the early 1980s.

Below, I’ve assembled a quick (but by no means comprehensive) rundown of towns and counties to have recently required an MRAP from the Defense Department. But we want to find the tiniest town in America whose police force will be protected from any potential insurgent uprising. So far, the leading contender is Dundee, Mich., a sprawling metropolis of 3,900 people. If you hear of a town with fewer people acquiring an MRAP, please let me know. 

Towns and counties that have recently acquired an MRAP:

Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."

opinions

the-watch

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read

opinions

the-watch

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Radley Balko · April 18, 2014