On October 4th 2013, the Clovis News Journal published a story briefly over viewing the city’s commissioners meeting minutes from the previous night. The article stated the Clovis Police Department was to receive a free “armored SWAT vehicle”. The article goes on to describe this vehicle as a “decommissioned military vehicle that was used overseas” and its purpose is for “hostage situations, high risk warrant situations, and for during natural disasters”.
Clovis, New Mexico is located on the eastern part of the state, a few miles from the Texas border, and hosts a population of just over 37,000. Simple, rural and agricultural, the small town made national headlines earlier this week with its tumbleweed invasion of 2014.
The CNJ article did not go into additional details about the vehicle and the Clovis Police Department website has no mention of receiving the truck. However, details uncovered about the transfer may cause some to raise an eyebrow.
According to Action Item 1758, the City is going to receive a Caiman 6X6 MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) truck from the New Mexico State Police Defense Logistics Agency. The trucks were originally designed to counteract IED attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the Action Item, the truck “is valued at $625,000″ and would be used for “violent barricaded subjects, high risk felony warrants, rescue and recovery of injured persons or officers during a mobile active shooting event and other non-typical events”.
Clovis can be added to the growing list of small police departments and sheriff’s offices that are receiving no-cost MRAPs. These acquisitions have lead to nation wide criticism and a 26 state public records requests by the ACLU. According to Reason and EndTheLie.com, the vehicles are part of “the Department of Defense’s obscure “1033 program” which has given away almost $500 million in leftover military equipment to law enforcement in the fiscal year of 2011.” Reason.com goes on to state “After 9/11 the Department of Homeland Security began offering terrorism-fighting grants to domestic police departments” in addition to the 1033 program.
In a story written by a contributor to AboveTopSecret.com, a list was compiled of other small units receiving vehicles through the program:
- Ohio State University Acquires Military-Style Armored Truck
- Dakota County Sheriff’s Office Acquires Decommissioned Military-grade, Mine-resistant Vehicle
- Start in case of emergency, Warren County Sheriff’s Office receives armored vehicles
- Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department to get $600,000 19-ton anti-IED military vehicle for free
and the list goes on and on.