LA School District Reluctantly Gives Up The Grenade Launchers The Pentagon Gave Them

from the safety-first! dept

We've been detailing the issue of police militarization for quite some time around here (though the best resource on the issue has been Radley Balko, who wrote an excellent book on the topic). The issue has finally become at least somewhat mainstream, thanks to the high-profile appearance of militarized police responding to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. This has, at the very least, resulted in at least a few police departments thinking better of their decision to accept surplus military gear from the Defense Department via its 1033 program. And the latest is the Los Angeles School Police Department.

Just last week, MuckRock posted on its site about a FOIA request from California, detailing the military equipment given to school police forces. Just the fact that any military equipment is being given to school police should raise some serious questions, but the one that really stood out was that the LA School Police had been given three grenade launchers, along with 61 assault rifles and one MRAP (mine resistant vehicle -- the big scary looking armored vehicles that have become one of the key symbols of police militarization). Asked to explain itself, the LA School police chief, Steve Zipperman, claimed that the district had actually received the grenade launchers and the rifles all the way back in 2001 (though the MRAP is brand-spanking-new). But, he claimed, we shouldn't worry too much, because the police didn't think of them as "grenade launchers," but rather "ammunition launchers," and they were mainly kept around in case other police needed them:
Zipperman said that although the Pentagon identifies the three launchers as grenade launchers, civilian police call them less-deadly ammunition launchers. He assured me that the school police never had any intention of lobbing grenades at anyone, ever, and that they would not be used against students to launch anything. But as a police department, he said, LAUSD’s finest engage in mutual-aid pacts with other police agencies, and the ability to move those launchers out of storage might come in handy.

As for the assault rifles, Zipperman said they were converted to semiautomatic assault rifles -- why am I not feeling better yet? -- and are used to train a cadre of officers within the department. Those officers in turn are equipped with civilian semiautomatic rifles, which are either kept in locked compartments within their patrol cars, or in more centralized locations, in case of a Columbine High School-type gunman attack.
Either way, with the outrage and backlash growing, the school district police force has now agreed to give up the grenade launchers, but it's keeping the rifles and the MRAP. The department told the LA Times that the rifles were "essential life-saving items" though no evidence is given of what lives they've saved.

That same article at the LA Times quotes someone from the Oakland School Police Department up here in Northern California, who received a "tactical utility truck" from the Pentagon program, saying that the truck is "a rolling public relations vehicle." Public relations how, exactly? That if the police don't like the look of you, they may blow your head off? And then there's this:
"We end up having to bring out a gas can and jumper cables every time we want to drive it — it's only used twice a year."
If they have to bring out the gas can and jumper cables every time they want to use it, it doesn't sound like it's particularly useful in those "emergency" situations we keep hearing about in defense of these programs. If there's suddenly a big emergency, and the police have to go searching for some gas and the jumper cables? Perhaps that just shows how non-"essential" these giveaways are.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:24am

    "We end up having to bring out a gas can and jumper cables every time we want to drive it — it's only used twice a year."

    Wouldn't it be better to stop wasting tax dollars on this nonsense and pay down the deficit?

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    • identicon
      Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:31am

      Re:

      The real question is why is our military buying trucks that cannot f***ing start?

      I've got a tractor that sits in a barn in Vermont from November until June every year and it always starts right up - no gas can or jumper cables required.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:44am

        Re: Re:

        they forgot to purchase the battery warmer. it gets below 60 F sometimes. All the additives in our gas turn it to jelly in a few weeks.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 1:27pm

        Re: Re:

        Congress made them do it probably.

        Congress likes to force the military to buy a bunch of expensive military vehicles that the military says it doesn't want.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Avatar, 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:51pm

        Re: Re: starting

        The thing can probably start... for the military.

        The military doesn't just pile these up in an old barn. There are depot personnel who keep them maintained, working out of a manual on how to keep them maintained, which tells them exactly what they need to do to keep them maintained. (The manual is probably more or less correct, though it might leave a thing or two out, along the lines of "man, nobody thought THAT would break...) The depot personnel's job is to keep these things maintained. Occasionally, if everything is being done properly, someone will inspect the vehicles and make sure that they're working, i.e. that the maintenance is actually being done. If they're not, someone gets their ass jumped over it.

        Take the same vehicle and park it at a police yard. The police don't have someone on staff whose job it is to keep the MRAP ready at all times. They neglect the maintenance. They probably don't work out of the military manual for maintaining the thing (not necessarily maliciously, but reading military manuals is an acquired skill, no?) They probably don't inspect it to make sure it's working. They don't expect to really need it, at least not without plenty of warning, and if they DO get a call to use it and it's not working, oh well, they just do without. (What, are they gonna hit land mines?)

        The military is good at warehousing big stocks of things because it does a hell of a lot of that. Cops don't. There's no surprise that cops would suck at this while the military is pretty good at it.

        (yes, yes, "pretty good" is a long way from "perfect", I've heard plenty of depot horror stories too... but at least there are procedures and it has a good chance of working properly!)

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 8:10am

          Re: Re: Re: starting

          "They don't expect to really need it, at least not without plenty of warning, and if they DO get a call to use it and it's not working, oh well, they just do without. (What, are they gonna hit land mines?)"

          Which is another excellent reason why they shouldn't even have them in the first place.

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        • icon
          JP Jones (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 11:36am

          Re: Re: Re: starting

          The military also tends to have more than one of the things. Oh, that particular truck is in maintenance? Oh well, we've got six more. Vehicles are always broken down, but the military tends to have extras (for good reason, training requirements are rarely as high as operational requirements, and the inventory is based on operational requirements).

          If you only have one MRAP, and you only maintain it semi-annually rather than weekly like the military does, I'm amazed they work at all.

          Also, an MRAP has a bit more parts than a tractor. They don't look very fancy on the outside but there is some serious gear in an MRAP or most other military vehicles (the lowly 7-ton has a supercharged engine with a ton of electronic components and failsafes). They don't work well without maintenance...but since they always have a crew of people maintaining it, it's working as intended.

          Either way there's no reason for the police, especially school police, to have an MRAP. We already have a National Guard, with people actually trained to use this stuff. It seems silly to give it to unqualified personnel.

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        • icon
          Mark (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 2:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: starting

          Back in 2012 Congress forced the Army to buy $431 million worth of tanks it didn't need or want just so the local senators/representatives could keep the plant where they were made open.

          The Army had prior to this said it had no plans to purchase new tanks until at least 2017.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 1:00pm

      Re:

      The deficit cannot and should not be paid down. The result would be a disastrous economic meltdown that would make the first great depression look like a permanent walk in the central park.

      The nature of "debts" of a monetary sovreign (read US government, but not for example the individual states, or EMU member states, for example) is such that the "debt" is literally the money in circulation.

      A monetary sovreign spends money into existence, and destroys the money by taxing it away.

      The only other method of money creation, bank lending to individuals and corporations, is currently unavailable as the overall level of private debt is at an apex. Private debt literally cannot be pumped up anymore. Thus the monetary base is set at current level or will decline.

      Currently the debt load and the associated interest payment streams overwhelm current incomes. This situation will not change until deleveraging of the entire private economy has been accomplished one way or another.

      A declining situation in monetary base is a massive disaster, read: second great depression will come back with a revenge. Currently it's only being held at bay with government expenditure. Too bad that expenditure is only targeted at utterly useless military crap and not at transforming our energy production, but that 's a different matter entirely.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    SolkeshNaranek (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:26am

    Being prepared

    So many people squawking about how the LA school district police are becoming militarized.

    You will be singing a different tune when the school district police run into another child that chews a pop tart into a vague pistol shape.

    These dangerous pop tart chewing children only understand overwhelming force, and the police need that edge.


    /s

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  • identicon
    Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:29am

    the police didn't think of them as "grenade launchers," but rather "ammunition launchers,"

    I don't think of them as "illegal drugs" officer, I think of them as "mood alterers", so it's ok.

    WTF is wrong with our police?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      The Police thought lol , that's a great joke.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      Heeyyy Mann, like these arn't drugs officer, its like oregano but for brownies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 1:44pm

      Re:

      Maybe they fire pop tarts and leaflets?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Gabriel, 17 Sep 2014 @ 3:17pm

      Re:

      Cops don't "kill" people anymore, they "neutralize" them. So I guess there's, like, nothing to worry about. /s

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      aerilus, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:38pm

      Re:

      the grenade launches launch tear gas and non lethal bean bags. I dont have a problem with them having these they probably should have them and be trained on them. i dont really mind them having tasers either. or 12 gauges that fire non lethal rounds. why arent they focusing on non lethal rather than an ar-15 with a 30 round mag. the first guy in the door on a swat team is the guy with a shield and a service side arm.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:55pm

        Re: Re:

        "why arent they focusing on non lethal rather than an ar-15 with a 30 round mag."


        And here I thought schools were focused upon education - go figure. Guess the students need indoctrination more than they need an education - the constant fear makes for more subservient and hard working GOP voting wage slaves. So yeah, need more unannounced terrorist drills.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2014 @ 4:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "And here I thought schools were focused upon education"

          Reading this article made me wonder how dangerous schools are over in the US. Or maybe you are teaching the kids the wrong things?

          Over here in the UK we do not have police officers in schools, we do not have a special police force for schools. What is wrong with your country?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2014 @ 6:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "What is wrong with your country?"

            Many have asked this question, few have honest answers.
            One could start with acknowledging that it is not isolated to this country or that country, it is human nature to be greedy little shitheads with anger issues.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:33am

    So let me get this straight...you train with modified military weapons, but those are not the weapons used by the officers in the field. So in essence the officers are using weapons they are not trained to use?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:43am

      Just Gortex

      There's no real difference between an M-16 and AR-15 when it comes to hitting your target. The difference (if any) is going to be pretty superficial on the outside (selector switch) and invisible on the inside (lower receiver).

      There will be no burst option which no one uses because it doesn't conform to military doctrine as it relates to discharging a firearm.

      Stop watching A-Team reruns.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:55am

        Re: Just Gortex

        Assuming they are training on an M16 and then using an AR15 in the field, why are our tax dollars paying for both weapons to be maintained?

        Don't you just train on the AR15 and call it a day?

        If there is no difference (which I agree there isn't) what they are currently doing makes even less sense.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 1:47pm

          Re: Re: Just Gortex

          The difference is that the Federal government paid for the M16s and the local government paid for the AR15s. That means that they were able to get a bunch of Military-grade weapons outside their regular budget, and they use those for training as they'll take more abuse from people unused to handling them.

          Not saying it makes sense, but I'm pretty sure this is exactly why they're doing it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:51pm

      Re:

      That was essentially my first thought, and I suspect many others share it. It seems rather poorly advised, and inefficient, and not cost effective to train officers on a weapon other than the one they will actually be using.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JP Jones (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 1:16pm

        Re: Re:

        The training for an M-16 is identical to the training for an AR-15. The only meaningful difference between the two is lack of burst fire for the AR-15, but since that is almost never used for training, the difference is largely academic. Heck, burst fire is rarely used in combat.

        I can't really think of a situation where I'd rather have burst than a hammer pair (two quick pulls of the trigger) and a shot to the head or groin. The latter is how the military is trained to shoot so in a combat situation few people are going to switch to burst (it's also slightly more likely to cause jams).

        That being said, I absolutely disagree with police using AR-15s. The AR-15 fires the same round that the M-16 does, the 5.56mm. A 5.56 round is designed for maximum penetration and fragmentation and tends to easily travel through walls, normal vehicles, and other obstacles. It's a high velocity, low mass bullet. It's great for long range combat against armored enemies that may be hiding behind cover.

        The reason 9mm is so popular in police forces is because it's the opposite...a low velocity (relatively speaking), high mass bullet that tends to expand on impact. This causes it to have moderately high stopping power but flatten and stop when hitting walls and other obstacles. This is good for unarmored targets in an urban area where you are trying to minimize potential collateral damage if you miss your target.

        AR-15s are a danger to everyone around the police forces, almost more than any theoretical school shooter they could come up against. It's using a weapon designed for a "weapon's free" environment against an opposing military force in an urban environment filled will civilians. It's stupid and reckless, and there is no justification that makes killing innocent civilians to fight against a crazy person acceptable when it can be avoided by using different weapons.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2014 @ 9:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I would hope they use a heavy OTM cartridge for improved range and reduced penetration. What would you recommend they use instead of 5.56?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:33am

    "Relunctantly"

    ???

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    sehlat (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:38am

    Grenade Launchers as School Supplies

    If such weapons are truly needed to keep order in schools, the United States has already fallen on its sword. Literally.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      oldav8r, 18 Sep 2014 @ 12:14pm

      Re: Grenade Launchers as School Supplies

      I don't know, I've presided over a couple of Cub Scout meetings where a grenade launcher might have been handy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:41am

    As for the assault rifles, Zipperman said they were converted to semiautomatic assault rifles

    Does anyone really believe that the LA police permanently converted fully automatic rifles into semi-automatic? Does he mean they just flipped the little switch on a select-fire weapon?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:46am

      In the land of the blind.

      There is no full-auto setting on a US infantryman's rifle. Hasn't been since Vietnam. It's a total waste and a menace to the guy carrying the rifle. That design bug got "promptly" fixed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:58am

        Re: In the land of the blind.

        Then by Zipperman's statement, we can be pretty sure that they are not using standard US infantryman's rifles - because they had to be converted to semiautomatic.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Corey, 18 Sep 2014 @ 12:02pm

        Re: In the land of the blind.

        Absolutely not true. M16 and M16A1 had full auto, M16A2 and M16A3 had 3 shot burst, M16A4 has full auto, M4 has burst, and the current issue M4A1 has full auto.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JP Jones (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 1:29pm

          Re: Re: In the land of the blind.

          The M27 (IAR) also has fully automatic fire, although I suppose you could consider it an automatic weapon (although it typically fires from a standard 30-round magazine).

          Full auto has its place, specifically in supression. I would just never use it in an area where you're worried about collateral damage (like anywhere police are operating).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      They used tape to keep them in that position. To their never ending credit, they used duct tape rather than scotch or masking tape.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous Dutch coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:41am

    40 mm

    I can't find it anywhere, but my guess is that de grenade launchers are 40 mm single shot or multiple shot launchers like the m79 or Milkor. Very useful for shooting tear gas grenades at people who are looting liquor stores after police shot dead another unarmed civilian with one of those rifles they got from the military.

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    • identicon
      Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:43am

      Re: 40 mm

      Tear gas may be pretty effective at stopping a biting toddler as well.

      These officers have the right to go home without bite marks and hurt feelings at the end of their shift you know.

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    • icon
      Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 23 Sep 2014 @ 10:30am

      Re: 40 mm

      According to the list that Muckrock posted (https://muckrock.s3.amazonaws.com/foia_files/California_Agency_Inventory_as_of_06-25-2014.xlsx) it's three M79s.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:46am

    Rifles are useful

    Grenade launchers not so much...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous Dutch coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:49am

    yes they are useful

    try saying that after you have been hit by rubber bullets from these grenade launchers.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:50am

    I suppose if insist they can continue to call them ammunition launchers, as long as they mention that the ammunition they are launching are fucking grenades.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2014 @ 11:24am

      Re:

      The PC wording Grenade launcher is "dispersion dispenser"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Bruce, 18 Sep 2014 @ 5:38pm

      Re: Grenade Launchers

      Last time I looked, "Military" grenade launchers (M-79, M2043 etc. fire a 40mm grenade / flare or whatever.

      There ARE "other models of the same toys for use by NON military types that are 0f 37mm calibre. These are mainly used for launching tear-gas and "rubber bullets" or rubber "shot" for "non-lethal attitude adjustment". HE ammo is NOT available (or supposed to be) for the 37mm variants.

      But, with the inversion of roles of the police and armed forces, anything is possible.

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  • icon
    Boojum (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:52am

    I wonder if they gave back the grenades as well as the launchers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:55am

    Spitballs can be dangerous

    Most of us over 50 would have gone to prison for shooting spitballs.

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  • identicon
    Canadian Observer, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:55am

    The bigger question is why the hell does the LA School District have it's own police force!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:00pm

      Re:

      It's a good thing they do. If they didn't, who would they have been able to give grenade launchers to, the teachers, kids?

      Come on man, that's just crazy.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:05pm

      Re:

      Someone has to keep those prisoners-to-be in check.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 1:48pm

      Re:

      The bigger question is why the hell does the LA School District have it's own police force!?

      Finally somebody asks the right question.

      But why stop at LA? Why does any school district need their own deputized police force?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 22 Sep 2014 @ 5:55am

      Re:

      The bigger question is why the hell does the LA School District have it's own police force!?

      Probably to deal with the violence in some of the schools.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:56am

    But, he claimed, we shouldn't worry too much, because the police didn't think of them as "grenade launchers," but rather "ammunition launchers,"


    And what sort of ammunition do they launch?

    and they were mainly kept around in case other police needed them


    Why not just let those other police have them, then? Though I don't know why regular police should need this sort of "'ammunition' launcher" either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ok a 2nd time, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:56am

    as this topic gets more attention..

    .. i need to know if the topic has been entertain that our governing bodies are buying these vehicles and gear with public tax dollars, then RESELLING them to public entities who pay with more tax dollars? Even if it is 'free', its not free. And when its not 'free', they double dipping again into tax dollars when those public entities buy them.

    Why hasn't this conversation occurred yet?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:02pm

      Re: as this topic gets more attention..

      They are almost always a "grant", so the local governments are not re-paying for them.

      They do, however, require expensive maintenance.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:57am

    Time to arm the kindergartners!

    The only way to end this tyranny is to extend the second amendment rights to all who are subject to this police force. If even just the kindergartners were all armed with grenade launchers as well, problem solved. Now, granted, training four and five year olds to use them safely may be expensive, but it's the cost of freedom!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Trevor, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:18pm

      Re: Time to arm the kindergartners!

      The only way to stop a bad kindergartner with a grenade launcher is with a good kindergartner with a grenade launcher.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:06pm

    Someone Photoshop the Tiananmen Square picture to replace tanks with MRAPs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Trevor, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:09pm

    Well

    Well I guess Adam Baldwin was right. Obama IS coming after our guns*

    *Grenade Launchers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:11pm

    and they were mainly kept around in case other police needed them


    Someone needs to tell the school board that this whole 'Arsenal of Democracy' thing ended in 1945.

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  • identicon
    Tead, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:19pm

    I have a better idea....

    Remember the old saying...
    The military should have to hold bake sales to stay afloat... just like the schools.

    Perhaps now they can skip the middle man and just sell the military gear directly to the highest bidder. They'd make a ton more than any bake sale I've ever seen!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 1:57pm

      Re: I have a better idea....

      It's better than that... defense contractors get contracts to make this stuff for the military, and then DHS buys the surplus with taxpayer money and gives it to local law enforcement. So the military doesn't even get to touch this stuff. Some of it isn't even stuff the military WOULD buy for themselves, from what I've heard.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:36pm

    Recovering costs

    > Wouldn't it be better to stop wasting tax dollars on this nonsense and pay down the deficit?

    Sorry, the money was spent when the MRAP was built. They aren't being built-to-order for distribution. The US government is diverting them (unused) from the scrap heap. See also https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htlog/20130714.aspx , though these are unused in the US instead of in Afghanistan.

    Even if the MRAP is returned to the government, its scrap value is scarcely reduced. What you DO lose is the municipal budget spent to transport and maintain the white elephant in the room.

    ... which after transport cost is paid, isn't much more than that of an extra patrol car. Less, even, since the MRAP sees fewer road miles, is less likely to get into a traffic accident. And when it eventually breaks down goes to a scrap heap instead of a repair shop. (Where ya gonna go to fix it up, after all?)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Blaine (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 1:10pm

    Gun Control Debate Over!!

    Government officials have defined military grade rifles as "essential life-saving items"

    Everyone go get yours now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      PRMan, 17 Sep 2014 @ 1:20pm

      Re: Gun Control Debate Over!!

      I know the article (and this post) mock the idea of rifles being "essential life-saving items" but at least it sounds like these guys might actually enter a school shooting and try to stop it, unlike Columbine where they just kept everyone out while the boys kept shooting everyone.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 2:10pm

        Re: Re: Gun Control Debate Over!!

        While being dangerously over gunned when there are mainly good guys in front of the barrel. They cannot see what will stop the round when it passes through the target, and several walls.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Padpaw (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 7:31am

        Re: Re: Gun Control Debate Over!!

        Maybe it stems from how the police are acting like out of control criminals that don't believe the citizens have any rights.

        I am all for police respect, but they have to act like law abiding officers to earn that respect. Not demand respect just because they are police

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    dfed (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 1:12pm

    What the hell was the thought process behind this in the first place?

    "We need to bring freedom the swing set and be greeted as liberators by the 4th grade recess! THERE ARE WMD's IN PANTS! INVADE!"

    I mean, if you're looking to grow terrorists, sure treat a middle school like Baghdad. There'll be IED's made out of markers and play-doh going off and tribal wars over pokemons, but you sure as shit won't be protecting anything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    mike d (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 2:05pm

    LAUSD Should Ask for Office Supplies

    Every year my son's teachers ask for classroom supplies so they do not need to buy out of their own pockets. Tissues and copy paper are always in short supply. Just today, I sent in some dry erase markers to one of the teachers.

    Sell that MRAP and buy all the teachers copy paper!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Patrick, 17 Sep 2014 @ 2:26pm

    The county next to the one I live in has a population of about 18,000.This is from a news story recently. Randolph County is at the top of the list with nearly $6 million ($5,778,195). Of that, $5.3 million was for an army cargo plane.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 3:14pm

    The department told the LA Times that the rifles were "essential life-saving items" though no evidence is given of what lives they've saved.
    The officers. Keeps 'em from being bored to death.
    Presumably they enjoy frightening the children by firing the occasional shot over their heads and then threatening to hunt down and murder their families if they tell anyone. It's what I'd do if I was an utterly irredeemable sociopath in a position of power.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:19pm

    And to think damn near every public school has to beg for school supplies, what a fucking shame.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:28pm

    Why in the Hell does a school district need a police force?

    Or am I missing something

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 7:29am

      Re: Why in the Hell does a school district need a police force?

      conditioning the populace to fear the police.

      Just look at V for vendetta if you want a popular example. Look at the history of the rise of the 3rd Reich for a more detailed example.

      There are those in your government that desire to be king. Every Ruler needs slaves/serfs

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 4:33pm

    It's only used twice a year

    "We end up having to bring out a gas can and jumper cables every time we want to drive it — it's only used twice a year"

    Somehow, I feel this is a bold face lie stated only to assuage the public's fears

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Brendan Spaar (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:27pm

    I think it ironic that on 9-11 I read that the Dept of Defense gave 12 M-16 weapons to both my college and another small college in Louisiana. Their reason for having them is in case of mass shooting or student riots. These 2 colleges, ULM in Monroe, La and Northwestern in Natchitoches, La are about the least likely places to need them.
    Student population in Natchitoches is around 9,000 & approximately 8,527 in Monroe. About the only thing that gets people excited in these places is the start of hunting season or the Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights.

    Not only is the idea of weapons like that on campus a crazy idea, think of how many of our tax dollars were spent to buy the weapons.Gear through the 1033 program is free to participating departments,with receiving agencies having to pay only delivery and maintenance costs. The University of Louisiana at Monroe paid $507.43 for 12 M-16 rifles.

    There are budget shortfalls in almost every US school district and colleges are cutting professors, classes and other "luxuries" in an effort to stretch the educational dollar. I think the government money spent on the weapons could have been better used to educate students on how to avoid the need to use them. Will we be seeing them for sale on Craigslist one day?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 6:53pm

    GOOD GRIEF! JUST WHY THE HELL DOES A SCHOOL DISTRICT, ANY SCHOOL DISTRICT, NEED GRENADE LAUNCHERS IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2014 @ 6:34am

    What i want to know is who did the military buy the replacement stock from?

    And what was the justification if any for getting replacements?

    Same goes for the MRAP

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 7:20am

    guess they needed to augment the assault shotguns and hollow point bullets they have been stockpiling

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 22 Sep 2014 @ 6:15am

      Re:

      guess they needed to augment the assault shotguns and hollow point bullets they have been stockpiling

      Just want to point out that police should be using hollow point ammunition to prevent overpenetration, or the round going through the target and continuing out the other side.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    LewisV (profile), 18 Sep 2014 @ 8:56am

    WTF...

    Law enforcement is supposed to be layered. If school security can't handle it, then local police assist. If local PD can't deal, then state or national guard are to assist. One organization should not be the all-in-one response solution. I believe they refer to those as terrorists. Which is how I would view them and treat them as such. I would say this is how the government should view them, but they are too old and stupid to realize it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    West, 18 Sep 2014 @ 11:07am

    I think we should start issuing 1911's to all kindergarteners, just to even things up a bit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 18 Sep 2014 @ 12:36pm

    Little Boys, Big Toys

    Perhaps that just shows how non-"essential" these giveaways are.

    Apparently the military gear/equip is essential in soothing the Los Angeles School District Police Department's fragile little egos.

    It speaks very poorly of the US that school districts must have police officers present to keep order.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    atul, 6 Dec 2014 @ 2:20am

    status

    The bitter gas is always best option to without harm any body finish the tolrance

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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