Police departments across the United States are not the only ones that have been receiving military equipment. The Los Angeles Unified School District has some as well. Yeah, you read that right: a school district has military equipment.::Shake my head::
Los Angeles Unified School District police officials are considering whether they need the armored vehicle and grenade launchers they received from the U.S. military.
The military hardware at the disposal of LAUSD police officers includes a 20-foot-long, 14-ton armored transport vehicles, much like the ones used to move Marines in Iraq combat zones. The armored vehicle is worth $733,000, and the school district’s police force got it from the government for free.
They’re “considering” the need for armored vehicles or grenade launchers. I can’t believe I even typed that sentence. They should have considered whether they needed them BEFORE they got them. No, I don’t care that the armored vehicle was free to the school district. Before a school district acquires military equipment, they ought to provide a valid justification for having it. “Just in case an extraordinary circumstance occurs” is insufficient reason. What, did they think World War 3 was going to break out in a school lunchroom? If you cannot provide a well reasoned justification based on evidence for why your school district needs military grade equipment, you don’t need it.
How would LAUSD use such a vehicle?
“For us? That vehicle would be used for extraordinary circumstances,” LAUSD police Chief Steve Zipperman said.
Sure enough, they have it “just in case”. Again, this isn’t a warzone we’re talking about people.
“It’s something that we believe is a life-saving vehicle,” Zipperman said. “And certainly we realize we need to take a look, is this the best alternative right now for us until we find something else that is more conducive to a police-type of rescue.”
This is stupid. Yes, the vehicle is life saving-in the appropriate context. In what context would it be appropriate to use the damn thing when we’re talking about schools, not a battlezone? It doesn’t sound like you’ve had much use for that armored vehicle. Why have it? “Because it’s cool and I want to play war” is not a valid reason.
“It’s a piece of equipment that’s not essential for our mission, so we will be disposing of those,” Zipperman said.
The armored vehicles and heavy artillery distributed to local agencies became a national issue in the wake of the riots in Ferguson, Mo.
“I can’t allow whatever political ramifications or analysis in Ferguson suggest how I want to make a decision on how to best make sure we respond at the LAUSD,” Zipperman said.
The chief says the armored vehicle will stay but will only be deployed on his direct orders with the approval of the school superintendent.
“To suggest that it’s a threatening type of equipment or equipment for a show of force, that is not the case,” Zipperman said.
Well then, if you say so, I guess that’s the case. No reason to have any evidence or logic to support such a position.