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Through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, police departments are eligible to receive secondhand supplies once used by the U.S. military. Among the participating agencies are those hired by public educational institutions – state colleges, universities, and K-12 school districts. Some of these items are pretty standard, some are frightening to think about, and some are pretty difficult to make sense of. Below are a few of the latter.
Of all the training materials for police use of military vehicles we’ve seen so far, Colorado’s is by far the most comprehensive and informative … and also some of the strangest.
In California, the officer driving a 18-ton MRAP could have as much as 20 hours of training time - or as little as 15 minutes
Much like our previous audit of Texas police departments’ proposals to train officers in the operation of military-grade armored vehicles, similar documents from Californian law enforcement agencies revealed that there is no clear qualification standard when it comes to use of 18-ton Mine-Resistant vehicles.
Files on Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., star of ABC’s The FBI, give an idea of how the Bureau managed its reputation when given the opportunity to do so favorably, not to mention meticulously - the crime drama was directly overseen by the Bureau’s Crime Records Division and drew material from actual case files.
It’s a reasonable expectation that if the Pentagon’s giving out 24-ton military vehicles, those departments should be sufficiently trained in how to use it. But as the wide discrepancy in quality shown by docs released by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows, that’s not always be the case.