The police department of the modest college town of Davis is among the latest California beneficiaries of surplus military equipment: a $700,000 armored MRAP (mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle) that police chief Landy Black called the “perfect vehicle to perform rescues of victims and potential victims during active shooter incidents.” The New York Times says the City Council directed Black to get rid of it in the face of an uproar, with many invoking the use of similar equipment against protesters in Ferguson, Mo.
“This thing has a turret — it's the kind of thing that is used in Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Mayor Dan Wolk. “Our community is the kind of community that is not going to take well to having this kind of vehicle. We are not a crime-ridden city.” He added, “When it comes to help from Washington we, like most communities, have a long wish list. But a tank, or MRAP, or whatever you choose to call it, is not on that list.” The Council's decision set off concern among police officials across the state and highlighted the fact that California has one of the highest concentrations of surplus military equipment in the nation.