Walla Walla SWAT team armors up

Walla Walla's new MRAP, as the $733,000 vehicle is known, was given to the city by the Department of Defense, and cost $6,900 to transport from Texas.

Walla Walla's new MRAP, as the $733,000 vehicle is known, was given to the city by the Department of Defense, and cost $6,900 to transport from Texas.

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Walla Walla SWAT team members will travel in military style and security with the addition of a mine-resistant, ambush-protected armored vehicle to the Walla Walla Police Department.

The MRAP, as the $733,000 vehicle is known, was given to Walla Walla by the Department of Defense, and cost $6,900 to transport from Texas.

Walla Walla Police Chief Scott Bieber said the vehicle will provide much more security for SWAT team members than the 1970s era V-150 Commando the unit currently uses.

Because of its superior armor plating, the MRAP will allow SWAT to get much closer to potentially dangerous situations, and provide better cover once in place, he said.

“We can be in position in no time at all,” Bieber said.

The MRAP will likely be retrofitted with different seating and be repainted, according to Bieber. Lights will also be installed as part of the change from military to law enforcement applications.

Despite planned changes, the vehicle is ready to use now.

“They could roll it out as is and use it,” Bieber said, adding that one of the SWAT officers has already had training from the National Guard on how to operate the vehicle.

Luke Hegdal can be reached at lukehegdal@wwub.com or 526-8326.

Comments

USCTrojan 7 months, 1 week ago

Am I alone in thinking this is a bad idea? Regardless of cost... isn't this a "weaponizing" of our Local Police department? These kinds of small steps begin to separate us from our own Police Department. Does this make the General Public A) respect or B)fear our police?

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USCTrojan 7 months, 1 week ago

PaddyWagon, I take your point that the vehicle itself doesn't have weapons. My point was to illustrate that his military vehicle, used for Wars, isn't appropriate for use with US Citizens. The "weaponizing" reference isn't meant to imply that the armored vehicle itself is a weapon (though it could be used as such)... but you are taking a thing (a transport) and turning it into an instrument of war. Goolge or Wiki "weaponizing" or "weaponized" for more references.

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pdywgn 7 months, 1 week ago

If it is used in the manner in which the article states I would have no problem with it if it protects the officers. The county has had more then one call out for people making bombs in their homes in recent years. I have more of a problem with the U.S. Gov't spending 733,000 dollars for something just to give it away at the cost of shipping. If there is some sort of Gov't Quid Pro Quo attached to the agreement then I would have a problem.

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VampireNinja 7 months, 1 week ago

"There's a reason you separate military and the police: one fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When they become both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people."

- Flt. ADM William Adama, BS-75 *Galactica*

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