Now that the war in Iraq is officially over and the one in Afghanistan winding down, the Department of Defense found itself facing a conundrum. It had just spent billions of dollars buying heavily armored personnel carriers designed to stand up to insurgent attacks only to find that it had run out of wars to use them in.
The initial plan was to shove the vehicles, called MRAPS (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) into a warehouse and let them collect dust. That changed when someone decided that, having served so admirably overseas, it would be only just to bring the MRAPs stateside and deploy them in the domestic war on crime.
And so, for the past couple of months, news reports have been popping up announcing that places like Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Ohio State University have been receiving their very own military-grade armored SUVs.
Now, it’s Dallas’ turn. Dallas County sheriff’s deputies traveled to Fort Hood earlier this month and picked up their very own International MaxxPro MRAP. This particular truck has never seen any actual combat, having only been deployed stateside for training exercises, so it doesn’t have any cool battle scars, but with the dealer’s $600,000 price tag knocked down to nothing, and with just 10,000 miles on it, the deal was too good to pass up.
After making the 160-mile drive back to Dallas from Fort Hood, deputy James Blesoe declared that the vehicle “exceeded expectations,” according to a memo to Dallas County commissioner’s.
OK. Pretty cool. But let’s back up for a moment. There’s a very glaring, very fundamental question we haven’t yet addressed: Why in holy hell does Dallas County need an armored military vehicle built to withstand a minor apocalypse?
The underlying reason seems to be that military trucks are fucking cool, but no one’s actually saying that. The sheriff’s office is touting it as a tool that will help them better serve warrants.
“Having a tactical vehicle will not only provide warrants execution with the equipment to assist in performing their jobs but will provide an overall safety arch,” Chief Deputy Marlin Suell wrote to commissioners.
Because there’s no telling when North Texas might descend into sectarian warfare and start planting IEDs along Riverfront Boulevard.