Archive for Monday, August 12, 2013

Armored vehicle, recently bought by Lawrence police with federal grant, appearing on city streets

August 12, 2013


The Lawrence Police Department's new armored vehicle has arrived and is ready for use, police officials say. The city bought the bullet-proof vehicle, which is meant to rescue civilians and protect officers in armed confrontations, with a $152,500 Homeland Security grant the city won last year.

The Lawrence Police Department's new armored vehicle has arrived and is ready for use, police officials say. The city bought the bullet-proof vehicle, which is meant to rescue civilians and protect officers in armed confrontations, with a $152,500 Homeland Security grant the city won last year.

The Lawrence Police Department’s newest set of wheels has arrived, and has started making appearances around town.

It’s hard to miss: a shiny new armored truck with bulletproof windows and what looks like a battering ram on the front bumper. Designed for confronting armed criminals and rescuing people exposed to gunfire, this vehicle usually won’t show up in your neighborhood unless something serious is happening.

The price tag is serious, too: $152,500.

The city bought the truck with federal dollars after winning a Homeland Security grant last fall, and Lawrence police received it earlier this year. The department is one of many across the country to take advantage of the federal budget to buy an armored vehicle that the city might not otherwise be able to afford. It started rolling down a city streets a few weeks ago, after police finished detailing it and preparing it for duty.

When the purchase was announced last year, the words “armored vehicle” conjured up for some visions of a militarized police force. But police call it a “rescue vehicle,” and it actually is a customized Ford F-550 with bullet-resistant armor and windows. The armor is supposed to stand up to even high-caliber gunfire, and the underside of the car is built to withstand a bomb blast. The vehicle seats up to 12 people, including the driver.

It’s the protection from bullets that, for police, was the key selling point, according to Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman. In action movies, police often duck behind their patrol cars to seek shelter from a hail of bullets, but that doesn’t work so well in real life.

In the past, Lawrence police have tested out the effect of gunfire on the type of Crown Victoria patrol cars they traditionally used, and the cars did not stand up to the challenge. “The bullets go right through them,” McKinley said. “We were told to do the best we could to keep the engine block between us and whoever was firing.”

While such situations may still be thankfully rare in Lawrence, police often do serve search warrants on violent felons and deal with domestic disturbances that turn into armed standoffs, McKinley said. The department bought the vehicle to make police and victims safer on those occasions and to be prepared for worst-case scenarios that everyone hopes never happen.

Active shooters in schools or an a college campus, hostage crises and natural disasters were all on the list of situations where police would want to have a protective vehicle to rescue wounded people and approach dangerous areas. The city’s grant application for the federal money also suggested that Kansas University might be an attractive target for terrorists, and the Lawrence Police Department would be among the first to respond if such an attack happened.

Several Kansas cities, like others around the country, have sought out armored vehicles, including Wichita, Salina, Junction City and Topeka.

In Topeka, police have been using a different model of armored car since 2009, and police officials call it invaluable. More intimidating than Lawrence’s model, it is a black, tank-like machine with a gun turret on the roof. It sees frequent use in potentially violent police business in Topeka, Capt. Scott Conklin said, and he’s glad his department has it.

“Even if you deploy it about 12 times a year, and you save one life over 10 years, what’s the value?” Conklin said. “What’s one life worth?”

The purchase of the armored vehicle for the Lawrence department is unrelated to the separate purchase, with city money, of a $58,604 custom van, McKinley said. That vehicle, which is on order, has no armor protection and is intended replace a 1998 Dodge that police have used to serve arrest warrants. The Dodge needed to be replaced because it increasingly failed to start when needed.


Armored_One 4 years, 9 months ago

And perhaps a slight alteration in the mentality of the average American, who tends to resort to violence instead of rational thought. If that isn't the truth, can you give a better answer as to why the U.S. has one of the highest murder rates in the civilized world?

Perhaps if gang bangers weren't roaming around aimlessly with AK-47's and other military-grade firearms, the need for a bullet resistant vehicle might not be needed.

I mean, I'm sure everyone would play nice and get along smashingly if we just disarmed the police and issued them feather dusters instead. Obviously the police officers that get shot during a basic traffic stop must have aggressively pulled the person over and aggressively confronted the driver. I mean, a normal person wouldn't do something like that if it wasn't for the big, bad officer, right?

I know this is probably going to be a silly question, but you do realize that in basically every major city in this country, the police are massively outgunned by the gangs, some of which do have access to higher end military grade weapons, right?

But I suppose 'Cop Killer' was just a rhetorical social commentary, not a perceived open invite to gun down officers...

Stuart Evans 4 years, 9 months ago

What if the police and politicians changed their mentality slightly, and quit treating every American as a potential criminal. Gangs are created by a black market. The black market was created to increase criminals. Increases in crime, lead to political promises, increases in law enforcement expenditures, and more corporate, for-profit, prisons. Crime is important to politicians and police unions; without the perceptions of terrible crime, each of these groups has no platform from which to spend your money.

Jonathan Fox 4 years, 9 months ago

This string of connection doesn't hold up. The black market was created for money not criminals. I don't know of any corporate, for-profit, prisons anywhere around here. While I do see the argument for the need of crime to sustain police spending, I don't see much of an argument for purposeful corruption to sustain criminal activity.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 9 months ago

The black market was indeed created to make money, off of products that were deemed illegal by the federal government, which in turn helps entrepreneurs (some of which are also in the federal government) to make money from those illegal products.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

PROOF the crime rate is rising in Lawrence,Kansas at an alarming rate.

Reckless growth brings on increased crime just like in the big cities. Yet the big city mongers will never stop.

The movers and shakers must believe this monster high dollar vehicle will attract new home buyers.

jack22 4 years, 9 months ago

That thing looks beefy, it must use a ton of gas. I'm sure some of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan wish they had a vehicle like that. Did KC and Topeka get one, too? I don't see the need for having one as being so great in Larryville.

Brian Hall 4 years, 9 months ago

The article says that Topeka has had an armored vehicle since 2009.

Lisa Medsker 4 years, 9 months ago

Looks like a scaled-down version of a Stryker, to me. NOT a "rescue" vehicle, by any stretch of the imagination.

Jeremiah Jefferson 4 years, 9 months ago

They do have vehicles like that. Only difference is they have to build it themselves out of their own body armor meant for their bodies.

Mike Frizzell 4 years, 9 months ago

Lenexa Police have a Vietnam era M-113 APC, which even says "RESCUE VEHICLE" on the side of it. The department has owned the vehicle since the late 60's or early 70's. Officers restored it on their own time after its military service.

Photo from the early 80's

Photo from 2012, current paint job. On display at the Kansas Speedway

Johnson County has a Lenco BearCat (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck) which is used by agencies throughout the county. (photo from 2008)

Shawnee Police have an older APC. I am unsure of the make/model but here is a photo of it on a scene from 2008.

My point being, police purchasing/using armored vehicles is nothing new. Higher crime rates of today just mean the vehicles are being used more often. As Lawrence Police mention, they plan on using their new truck for serving warrants, something which in days gone by was done in a much different fashion than it is today.

Better safe than sorry. Better to have one of these at your disposal instead of trying to hide behind the modular V8 of a Crown Victoria or the tiny "ballistic panels" that were an expensive option for inside the front doors of a 2006-newer Crown Victoria. An option which most departments chose not to purchase.

Lisa Medsker 4 years, 9 months ago

When the sidewalks and parks are littered with land mines, and every tree has a sniper in it, and being ambushed just walking down the street becomes a possibility, I'll think that this APC is justified. This is not a war zone. Why waste money just getting people all stirred up into believing it is? If this was LA, with frequent rioting, tear gas being deployed regularly, or Chicago with gun battles happening several times a day, I could see it. But this town is neither LA nor Chicago, and last I checked, nobody was advised not to live here unless armed.

Nathan Atchison 4 years, 9 months ago

it says rescue vehicle. an ambulance is a rescue vehicle. this is an assault vehicle. its hard to rescue someone through one of those little gun ports.

Lisa Medsker 4 years, 9 months ago

Had the same thought. I have vast amounts of experience with tactical assault vehicles, and rescue vehicles. This is NOT a rescue-anything.

Food_for_Thought 4 years, 9 months ago

If a person uses a pencil as a violent stabbing weapon, is it an "assault weapon"? This vehicle is armored and has gun ports - no different than a Brinks armored bank transport vehicle. Are you telling me that Brinks Security and other bank money transport companies operating "assault vehicles"? I think not. What makes this a "rescue" vehicle and not an "assault" vehicle are the missions it is used for. Give me a friggin' break. I suppose since police wear body armor and carry handguns, they must be "assault troops", right?

Lisa Medsker 4 years, 9 months ago

Armored transport vehicles carry large amounts of cash. Police vehicles do not. I have never, ever performed a rescue mission that required a vehicle with a turret on the top. I have been involved in several tactical situations, ambushes being one, with vehicles like this. I have also been involved in many, MANY rescue operations. No armored vehicles were necessary. Nor was body armor, nor was a sidearm. I didn't even need to use a sidearm as a hammer or a screwdriver. What missions do you think they are going to use that as a rescue vehicle for, anyway? A hail of bullets. Are you suggesting that we need that kind of vehicle, due to the constant gun battles civilians face? Give ME a friggin' break. With the "intimidation factor" that this vehicle is meant for, and the shift in attitude of the police from "serve and protect" to "patrol and control", yes, they are nothing more than assault troops. There is no way any of these LEOs are going to allow a Nasty Civilian to pollute the inner sanctum of that new toy to be "rescued".

Missingit 4 years, 9 months ago

then you have not done many rescure missions!! they are not rescuing cats from trees!

Lisa Medsker 4 years, 9 months ago

Really? I've never rescued a cat from a tree, either. High-angle, widerness, MVA, swift-water, and strangely enough, I've never needed or seen an armored vehicle for any of them. Only in combat, and as I mentioned before, I see no evidence that Lawrence is a combat zone. So justify it. I want to hear how we need a "rescue" vehicle in this city that is armored with a turret on the top. If any civillian is actually "rescued" because of the money spent on that, I'll eat my hat.

Missingit 4 years, 9 months ago

they could call it the Millenium Falcon and it could make the Kessel Run in less then 12 parsecs, who cares?? If one person, civilian or police officer is saved using it then it is aptly names

patkindle 4 years, 9 months ago

don't you love it when all that wasted pork barrel money comes back home?? we should be proud

WilburM 4 years, 9 months ago

This is so wrong in so many ways that it defies description. A dangerous toy at best, destructive pork-barrel for sure. If you have this weapon, you'll use it for sure. Depressing use of fed funds.

Keith 4 years, 9 months ago

Now that they have it, they'll find all sorts of reasons to use it. Frat parties beware!

simpleton 4 years, 9 months ago

Droopy said it best: "You know what? That makes me mad."

dinglesmith 4 years, 9 months ago

This is just silly. An armored vehicle patrolling the streets of Lawrence. I suppose it will be useful enforcing the fireworks ban...

Food_for_Thought 4 years, 9 months ago

You are just silly. I highly doubt this is something that will be used for regular "patrol".

simpleton 4 years, 9 months ago

Reading the article, it seems they're taking it for joy rides.

somebodynew 4 years, 9 months ago

Good to see they are still good at manipulating the media and the public to hide things in public. :)

ejg91780 4 years, 9 months ago

Purchases like this are the reason why our federal government is so far in debt.

James Minor 4 years, 9 months ago

Why not a armored mini-cooper they can hold up to 20 cops?

Jason Bowers-Chaika 4 years, 9 months ago

For as little action as this Armored Car will get why the hell didn't they buy a used bank truck?

mrjcg2 4 years, 9 months ago

Or.. it would make a really nice lunch/ food truck. No soup for you!!!

smileydog 4 years, 9 months ago

We need to get acclimated to this type of vehicle, so when our police start carrying machine guns, it won't seem like such a big deal. This is probably the first of many. When there's Abrams tanks rolling through the streets is when we should all be concerned, if having cops with machine guns doesn't do it first. Of course, when the tanks come, they will take our guns. It's a gradual progression.

average 4 years, 9 months ago

Dispensing MIPs... in style, baybee!

july241983 4 years, 9 months ago

Meanwhile federal employees are taking furloughs ...

hipper_than_hip 4 years, 9 months ago

Neither the police nor concealed carry permit holders are under any obligation to protect you. Just to clarify, this vehicle is about protecting the police so they can go home at the end of their shift. They will drive it thru your front door and squash you, your dog, your kids, and anyone else who gets in the way if they preceive you as a threat either real or imagined.

patkindle 4 years, 9 months ago

unless it is on the road 24/7 they will have to build a storage area when they build the new police hq

Scott Morgan 4 years, 9 months ago

Who is the Grant guy who gives so much money all the time? Whoever he or she is, at least it's not tax monies.

Armored_One 4 years, 9 months ago

I suppose that it is completely pointless to mention that gang traffic, as well as drug trafficking, are on the rise in this quadrant of the state. I-35 and I-70 are two of the biggest, most well-known drug corridors in this country, if not the biggest, and they cross over each other, more or less, less than an hour's drive from here.

I suppose no one has noticed the half dozen MS-13 marked bangers that have been roaming around downtown the last six months, or so.

There are a great number of things going on that, taken individually, don't truly amount to much, but added all together paint a fairly nasty direction for this part of Kansas. I'd rather the city have it and not need it rather than vice versa.

I mean, isn't that the basic concept being conceal and carry? Better to have the gun and not needed than vice versa? Why is it acceptable to arm the populace at large and not protect those that are paid to step in when the fan gets really nasty, so to speak. There has been, historically, much more egregious wastes/uses of federal money.

kernal 4 years, 9 months ago

That's non-violent drug offenders, Pheps.

gatekeeper 4 years, 9 months ago

Holder is doing the smart thing. No need to lock up non-violent offenders. I thought prison was to keep the bad guys that can hurt us behind bars, not the stoner kid that got caught with a dime bag and bong.

bad_dog 4 years, 9 months ago

If you've seen MS-13 members roaming around downtown, have you brought this to the attention of LEO? Did you ask for and review their laminated membership cards and tattoos to verify gang membership status? Many of the (actual) gang members are illegal aliens and/or have criminal histories with outstanding warrants. I'm downtown fairly frequently; mostly during evening hours and I've never seen anything near what you describe. I've seen some before in LA and other southwest cities, but not here. If you have and are sure they are MS-13 and not "wannabes" common sense alone would dictate they should be reported.

Curveball 4 years, 9 months ago

I think the campus police need to get one. You could put little Jayhawk decals on it.

kernal 4 years, 9 months ago

Evidently, the police departments in Johnson County got tired of Lawrence requesting their armoured vehicles for KU football games. Have none of you noticed them coming down K-10 for our home games the last few years?

Missingit 4 years, 9 months ago

waste of money? perhaps when the police rolled up on the guy in the county with 25 pounds of meth, most likely produced in Mexico, which leads me to believe someone has at least a connection to Mexican drug cartels, the police could roll up to the door on bicycles or some other safer mode of transport. if 1 police officer does not get shot then the entire community is better off .

50YearResident 4 years, 9 months ago

How many shots were fired? How many lives were saved?

Dan Blomgren 4 years, 9 months ago

Why do we need this? What a total waste of money. So does it sit in a garage all day and gets pulled out when we have a serious event or does it roam the streets deterring crime? Either way its a joke! It will end up being a $150,000 prop the police dept will show to school kids on 'grow up and be a cop' day. If I were the police dept I would have requested a $150,000 Ferrari claiming I could escape even faster. At least that way you could ride around in style and turn the heads of a few college girls. More waste from the federal government that's all this ends up being.

mdlund0 4 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 9 months ago

We should probably expect that terrorists are looking at the Heartland for potential targets.

Let's hope we never have to use this but I think it is now important to have something like this in your arsenal.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 9 months ago

Do you really believe that terrorism is so widespread, that we need a paramilitary police force in every town? The truth be told, you're far more likely to die at home, safe in your bed, than to ever encounter terrorism. The government and police forces have convinced people that they are constantly in danger, that the criminal element is barely being constrained only by the thoughtfulness of our politicians and your mighty important tax dollars. This is the military industrial complex, and it's now overflowed fully into the prison industrial complex as well. Fear-mongering at its finest.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 9 months ago

This vehicle can save lives, particularly those of our law enforcement community. If it can save one life, it pays for itself.

Douglas Thompson 4 years, 9 months ago

That logic just doesn't work. We could save lots of lives if we added tens of thousands of dollars to every car manufactured. We could save lives making people drive at 5 mph. This logic only works if money is unlimited which it is not.

Missingit 4 years, 9 months ago

Neither does that logic, we could save lives if everyone was a mindless drone as well. D what is the cost of a average fatality accident, what is the cost for a police officer killed in the line of duty?

Douglas Thompson 4 years, 9 months ago

But that assumes this will actually save a police officer's life. How many officers have been killed in Lawrence because they didn't have a vehicle like this? If it is worth the money, then lets make sure we buy one of these for every single officer in Lawrence. Rather than have this, lets have officers drive around in M1A2s, certainly if it saves one life it is worth the money.

Less than half of law enforcement deaths in 2012 were due to shootings and zero were due to terrorism. A sworn law enforcement officer had a 1/100th of a percent chance of dying in the line of duty in 2012.

Deaths caused during traffic stops are the most common reason for a law enforcement officer dying. How will this help that?

I am all for efficiently and effectively improving the safety of our law enforcement officers. This is not effective nor is it efficient in improving officer safety. This is just a militarization of police that does not need to occur.

KURocks 4 years, 9 months ago

Must be expecting a doubling of "Occupy Lawrence" at the park this year

Brock Masters 4 years, 9 months ago

There is a disconnect between what Joe Biden and others tell us about criminals and what the police, by their actions, tell us.

Joe tells us that criminals are not so dangerous. All you need for protection from them is a double barrel shotgun. You don't even need to confront them, but instead discharge it from your porch and they will run away.

However, the police paint a very different picture of the criminal element lurking our cities. The criminal element is so dangerous that the police must be equipped with military weapons, body armor and vehicles even when they are dealing with one wounded criminal hiding in a boat.

So which is it? Is only a shotgun needed to defend against criminals or do we need mini- armies?

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago


There is a substantial difference between the experience of average citizens and the experience of police officers.

I have never rushed to the site of a violent crime, for example.

Average citizens are also far less exposed to the dangers of fire than firemen are. Or the dangers of mines than coal miners. Etc.

What an average person needs to be safe varies from community to community, of course, but would very rarely, if ever, be equivalent to what a police officer needs.

optimist 4 years, 9 months ago

Law enforcement is becoming too militaristic. If they want to dress up and arm themselves like soldiers then they should join the military and fight bad guys with big guns and other weapons. The current attitude toward policing is inconsistent with American liberty. I for one do not buy into the conspiracy theory of a centralized tyranny. I am concerned however at the absolute corruptibility of power. Law enforcement officers are granted extensive authority and with that authority should come a high expectation by the citizenry that law enforcement will be held to a higher standard of conduct in their performance of their duties and a high standard in their personal lives. There can not be too much oversight.

Patricia Davis 4 years, 9 months ago

The perfect use for this would have been when former Chief Olin went out to shoot up his neighborhood.Man, he would have loved this thing. It is really a stupid thing for Lawrence.

KU_Comet 4 years, 9 months ago

$152,000 for the 4th of July parade addition in Lawrence. And how does Lawrence 'win' this grant too? Certainly not from the 'Occupy Lawrence' disruption last year and all of it's 6 occupants. Perhaps Chicago needs this but Lawrence? I didn't think high-caliber gunfire and bomb blasts were part of the town still. Amazing...that money certainly could be used for better and smarter purposes.

50YearResident 4 years, 9 months ago

All you have to do to win a grant is to apply. It's free money.

KU_Comet 4 years, 9 months ago

Free money? No, it's not FREE money. Government grants are funded by our tax dollars. This attitude about free money is what will end up bankrupting this country.

Dan Blomgren 4 years, 9 months ago

Free money? There is no such thing. This is costing everyone of us.

Missingit 4 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps it wins this grant from being on I-70 with a population over 80,000. Perhaps it wins this grant with the large infusion of students every year. What is a smarter purpose then saving a public servants and citizens life???

KU_Comet 4 years, 9 months ago

This is an over-priced albatross and won't make much of a difference. Is Lawrence really that violent a community you need this? So every city with a population of over 80,000, a large student enrollment and near a highway should get this? Good grief! Why not get 12 of these for every city block while the federal government has the money? (Translated: Higher taxes on citizens)

Missingit 4 years, 9 months ago

Lastly, I see 2 whole comments about a $250,000 dollar grant to get a visiting author to the homeless shelter north, err Library. Where is the indignation there?? Why do we need authors to speak in Lawrence at that cost?? what a waste? Is the 50 Shades of Gray author coming? J.K. Rowling??

bevy 4 years, 9 months ago

I think the difference is because the library program was privately funded by a donation from a wealthy family. This one is being paid for with tax dollars. Rich people can donate their money any way they want to.

mdlund0 4 years, 9 months ago

Spending like this should be done based on a demonstrated need, not on hypotheticals. Show me the life that was lost but could have been saved in the past 10 years with this monstrosity. I'll bet there isn't one, which means we are spending tax dollars based on unjustified fears planted in our minds by a greedy, overzealous police department. What's next? A tank? Anti-aircraft guns circling the city? Reaper drones? Oh, I know... a $20+ million dollar police facility with a variable environment indoor training center. Lawrence has had one murder in the past 5 years, show me where the need is.

Food_for_Thought 4 years, 9 months ago

To those complaining about this being a "waste" of taxpayer money, the Federal government collected approximately $2.52 Trillion in taxes last year. This $152,500 armored car was 0.00000663% of taxpayer dollars collected. There are roughly 314 million people in the US (as of 2012). I can't find a more current figure, but in 2010 (according to the IRS), 88,583,448 individuals who filed a tax return actually had a tax liability. For the sake of simplifying the numbers, lets say that number was 90,000,000. So, of the 90,000,000 individuals who actually paid taxes to the Federal government, $1.37 Trillion was collected. Lets just say that everyone paid in an equal amount (which isn't true, but let's say so for the sake of argument). Since Federal taxes are collected nationwide, every TAXPAYING citizen chipped in $0.00169 to pay for this "waste". Rounded up, that's 2/10 of a cent per TAXPAYER (people who actually fiscally CONTRIBUTE to our government). You think $152,500 is a waste of taxpayer money because it offers protection to a city that hasn't seen an officer death in many decades? Well, with that logic, perhaps we should do away with Lawrence PD's bulletproof vests and handguns, seeing how there's no concern that they risk their lives daily and face the potential of a lethal encounter. I wonder if the same people who think $152,500 of Federal money is a "waste" of taxpayer dollars for an armored vehicle also think that $18 Million (which could buy 118 armored cars!) for a library / metered parking garage is a "waste" of LAWRENCE taxpayer dollars? Or perhaps the $24 Million Rec Center (which could buy 157 armored cars)?

Armored_One 4 years, 9 months ago

If criminals needed encouragement from law enforcement to cause violence, they wouldn't be criminals in the first place.

bad_dog 4 years, 9 months ago

All you have to do is look at the experience of Stockton, CA following their bankruptcy. Police layoffs followed by significant increases in violent crime. While a layoff isn't "encouraging" criminal activity in and of itself, they are fully capable of reading between the lines. Many perps that might otherwise think twice instead mull over the enhanced possibility of committing crimes without being caught or at least an enhanced chance of escaping detection/prosecution.

ThePilgrim 4 years, 9 months ago

It may be able to take military grade rounds in the body of that thing, or even run over a mine, but the tires are still vulnerable.

I agree - militarization of the police.

50YearResident 4 years, 9 months ago

The vehicle has run flat tires. They will stay up with no air because of a inner foam lining.

phoglight 4 years, 9 months ago

Anyone who thinks this is not necessary is not very bright and doesn't live in this world. When some whack job shoots up a local school, or movie theater or university, how do you expect the police do get to the injured? And if you think an ambulance is going up to the front door of a place with an active shooter, you are wrong. Call it whatever you want, but when you need, hopefully we don't, but when you do, it will save the lives of our police or citizens.

Dan Blomgren 4 years, 9 months ago

Phog you are so right, and while we are at it we should be prepared for Armageddon.

Anthony Mall 4 years, 9 months ago

Why haven't the angry citizens said a word about where the money came from yet? I don't think anyone really wants an APC rolling through the city but this is not something to freak out about. Here's a few reasons why... Only your federal tax dollars were spent on this so you can blame Obama and his administration (local tax dollars are spent on gas to parade it around town...), unfortunately Lawrence has a drug and crime problem that some people just ignore, and wouldn't it be better to be proactive versus reactive.... If this vehicle saves one life it is worth it! Hopefully we just see it in parades.

Charlie Bannister 4 years, 9 months ago

This is absolutely ridiculous to have a vehicle like this. Just like it is ridiculous for DHS to be buying these things. DHS has an entire fleet of them and has been giving grant money to cities to buy them. What do they know? I think I know exactly what they are thinking, and it does not bode well for America. I'll just leave it right there.

Armored_One 4 years, 9 months ago

Government waste.

Government waste.

Likelihood of anyone involved with this 'government waste' being voted out of office?

webmocker 4 years, 9 months ago

"“Even if you . . . you save one life over 10 years, what’s the value?” Conklin said. “What’s one life worth?”

Here's one answer to that question. "Take, for example, the $500,000 death benefit the government pays families when a soldier is killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.",8599,1808049,00.html

James Minor 4 years, 9 months ago

A used bank truck could have been bought instead, the VanGo students could have done the paint job and the run flat tires could have been bought from the recycling center. The cost savings could have been 100k and went to the police fund or tickets to the KU BBall games.

Doug Fisher 4 years, 9 months ago

This might've been good for Lawrence during the summer riots in 1970, but not now. Believe it or not, Lawrence was much smaller and more dangerous then.

IndusRiver 4 years, 9 months ago

Given thre National Security Agency's unauthorized breeches into privacy - well into the thousands of cases - and false accusations of terrorism country-wide, and cops who aren't necessarily sure who exactly they are supposed to be, or what country they're in, I hope our "allies" come to our aid.

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