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Ohio State University Police bring in military vehicle

September 26, 2013

guenther.50@osu.edu
campus_tank

The University Department of Public Safety acquired a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle in early September.
Credit: Alice Bacani / BuckeyeTV asst. news director

The Ohio State University Police Division has acquired a vehicle fit for war.

The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle was donated earlier this month. Similar vehicles have been used in United States military conflicts in countries including Iraq and Afghanistan.

The vehicle comes suited with a turret designed for mounting an automatic firearm, armored siding, bulletproof glass and a frame high enough to allow it to travel through three feet of water.

The MRAP vehicle is meant to be used mainly for large-scale emergency situations, according to University Police officers, but some OSU students don’t think the vehicle is necessary.

University Police Chief Paul Denton said the vehicle was acquired at no cost to the university from a military surplus program in order to replace a similar vehicle owned by the department that was outdated. The previous vehicle saw little use, but had similar purposes to those of the new vehicle, Denton said.

The new vehicle was acquired to serve for the potential purposes of officer rescue, hostage situations, bomb threats, homeland security and active shooter scenarios, Denton said.

Kyle Smith, Staff Sgt. in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and a fourth-year in criminal justice, said he doesn’t see a need for University Police to have a military vehicle that can withstand the blast of a 500-pound bomb, but he understands the logic behind why the department acquired one.

“It makes sense,” Smith said. “Why pay $300,000 for an armored (Chevrolet) Suburban when you can get a much more useful vehicle for free?”

OSU often borrows vehicles of similar quality to serve previously listed purposes during large events like football gamedays, Denton said.

It will serve primarily as a mode of transportation and protection for University Police, Denton said. He added the vehicle will be used if a situation arises but will primarily be used in instances where University Police has a strong presence, such as gamedays, Denton said.

University officers will be trained to use the vehicle by volunteers from military programs similar to the one that provided the vehicle to University Police, Denton said.

“I’m not seeing any cons considering we didn’t have to pay for it,” said Juliana Wishne, a second-year in political science and Spanish.

Not all students are fond of the university’s new acquisition, however. Terry Pack, a fourth-year in economics, is concerned any sort of militarization of the police force implies students are not well-protected.

“This thing is really cool and I want to drive it, but giving campus police the authority to operate a vehicle designed for war is incredibly intimidating and suggests the current (methods are) incapable of doing (their) job to adequately serve and protect,” Pack said.

To lessen intimidation brought about by the presence of this vehicle, OSU will be painting it black and removing the turret from its top. Though the cost of those changes has not been estimated yet, Denton said the money will come from the University Police budget.


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Category: Campus

Comments (14)

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  1. Strangefruit says:

    really ? Are you football games that rough ? I can imagine that your officers feel safe but how bout the students ?

  2. Tom Cain says:

    Love it! Cruising High St. on Michigan weekend with a Ma Deuce mounted in the turret!!!

  3. Joe says:

    I’m just finishing the book “Rise of the Warrior Cop” it shows how this is happening to police forces all across the United States. We aren’t the free country we once were and these tanks will eventually be used against us not to protect us like they say.

  4. Somebody says:

    I hear that OSU Police want to acquire an Apache combat helicopter as well.

  5. Mister Misty says:

    The Obama regime is passing these vehicles out all over the country to get ready for war. Plain and simple. Dallas police just got one also.

  6. mark says:

    “To lessen intimidation brought about by the presence of this vehicle, OSU will be painting it black” really come on lets have some students paint it with sixties flower power graphics, or let a different group of graffiti artists paint it each year. Time for the ‘art tank’

  7. Ohio in May says:

    Just because the university didn’t directly pay for it doesn’t make it free. We’ve all already paid for that with our taxes. That’s the military industrial complex at its finest. Might be something the poly sci program should mention, hehe.

    Then of course there’s the cost of ownership. You’ll be lucky to get 3mpg out of driving around town. How much do you think it will cost to replace one of those tires, or service suspension designed to deal with IEDs?

  8. Ohio in May says:

    For those of you who think it’s free, read up on the MRAP program. Huge military industrial boondoggle that has cost us $40 billion. Cons? What cons?

  9. Wow... says:

    I could type out a long rant about how awful this is, but it’d be too exhausting. You can’t have perpetual war abroad and maintain freedom at home. Welcome to the police state.

  10. The government keeps staging hoaxes like Sandy Hook (Watch Sandyhoaxed 2nd Edition) in an attempt to disarm the American people- all the while buying millions of rounds of hollow-point bullets, and handing out military items such as this armored vehicle all over the U.S.

    Americans had better figure out what is happening soon.

  11. University of Miami (FL) (The Real UM) says:

    The reporter of this story should do a follow-up with the administration. Simply ask the university president

    1. Hi pres, before I start my interview can you define “posse comitatus” and what it means to you?

    (Chances are, sadly, your pres will draw a complete blank.)

    2. Are you aware that having a military vehicle on campus for use by university police is categorically in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act?

    please consider doing this.

    signed,

    Former Democrat turned Independent
    Miami, FL

  12. zoe says:

    Guess who will pay for its fuel?

  13. Johnie Wood says:

    And the drivers will be wearing clown masks. Creepy clowns driving black MRAPs should low key. Because Kent State is just a distant memory?

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