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Government giving mine-resistant vehicles to police in U.S.

by Andrew Ganz

Unused, heavily armored personnel carriers are headed to cities and towns across the country.

As the armed forces of the United States begin to wind down operations across the Middle East, surplus - and sometimes unused - military-grade vehicles are finding their way into municipalities across the country.

Most recently, the Sheriff's department in Dallas County, Texas, was given what the military refers to as a $600,000-valued Mine-Resistance Ambush Protected (MRAP) Tactical Vehicle. The Dallas sheriff's office was financially responsible, according to a county memo, only for "transporting, fuel, painting and registration."

Built in 2007, the MRAP was not used in combat, although its run flat tires and mine resistant armor indicate its intended purpose. The vehicle, according to the Dallas Observer, was picked up at Fort Hood in Central Texas.

The Dallas Sheriff's office says that the vehicle will be used to execute warrants and that it will "provide an overall safety arch." Although Dallas County is large and urban, its crime rate is relatively low and Leftlane could find no evidence of land mines ever being a problem.

But Dallas' sheriff's office is one of a growing number of cities to have received a decomissioned MRAP tactical vehicle for law enforcement use. In August, reports of MRAPs being placed into law enforcement agency use surfaced in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

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