Ohio State University received what looks to be a tank on wheels for their public safety service officers. Gary Lewis, a senior director of media relations at OSU, called this vehicle an “all-hazard, all-purpose, public safety-response vehicle” with “obviously enhanced capabilities.” according to Yahoo news. These type of vehicles have no business being in the hands of the local police or a university. At what point are armored vehicles a violation of posse comitatus?
We dug a little deeper to find out other colleges have been receiving offers for these vehicles. Recently the University of California Berkeley Police Department (UCPD Campus Police) reported are getting a $200,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to purchase an “Armored Response Counter Attack Truck,” a police department spokesman told the Campus Reform in 2012. The Berkeley Patch later reported Chancellor of Berkley Robert Birgenau refused the armored vehicle because “an eight-ton armored truck has no place on campus.“.
Julio Rausseo was eye-witness to similar events in Illinois recently. An annual year-end block party at Western Illinois University ended with riot police. According to Julio students attending the Wheeler Block Party were met by a “Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force” who used “tear gas“, “LRAD sound weapons” and “crowd suppression tactics” to force students into their homes.
Professor Dewey Cornell an expert in violence prevention and school safety at University of Virginia stated “approximately 4,800 four-year colleges in the U.S., and an average of 10 homicides per year on college campuses, the average college can expect a homicide about once every 480 years.”
He also went on to say “with all we hear we hear about the federal deficit, it’s a shame there is money available for things like this but not for prevention,” said Cornell. “If a university has to resort to a Bearcat, that means there is a failure somewhere else.”
In Racine, Wisconsin recently a Sheriff armored vehicle has been purchased and roaming around. Do we need tanks to help “direct traffic“?
Does anyone else think it’s a little odd that armored vehicles are popping up all over the place?