Councilmember Brett Lee Provides Thoughts on Police Military Vehicle

DPD-Police-Vehicle

The following are the full comments by Davis City Councilmember Brett Lee to the Davis Vanguard from Tuesday evening on the city of Davis’ police military vehicle.

I think that when we look at some of these broader issues such as the militarization of the police, the recent escalation of violence in Missouri and the troubling tendency of institutional censorship we should take a step back and think about some basic fundamentals.

We live in a free society where the presumption is innocent until proven guilty, we have the right to assembly, the freedom of the press and the right to free speech. I am deeply troubled when these basic rights are ignored.

Your specific question to me was about the Davis Police Department’s receipt of a hand me down armored vehicle from the military. Let me go on a slight detour to give some background on my thinking here.

Every other week or so, we all receive bulk mail (my friends who work for the post office won’t let me call it junk mail) in our mail boxes which includes coupons for pizza, car repairs, etc. Often there is also an ad for a Sacramento gun store which sells high powered military style semi-automatic rifles. Even nearby shops sell these types of weapons.

I mention this to highlight that these weapons are freely available in our society (we have even had individuals arrested in our community that have been in possession of these types of weapons).

In addition, even in peaceful Davis we have had armed hostage situations (old timers will remember the incident at Wells Fargo).

The current police cruisers do not provide full protection from the types of high powered rifles that are currently being sold legally.

So back to your question. So, if we know there is a heavily armed person (high powered firearms) who is actively threatening others, do we ask our police officers to approach that person knowing that the officers’ protective equipment is insufficient to provide adequate protection? I think ideally that we would want the police to have the appropriate level of protection.

I believe that the real key is matching the approach/behavior/equipment to the situation. For example, we often read (or see) the inappropriate use of tasers on individuals who are peaceably protesting. That is unacceptable.

When we peaceable assemble to protest the aerial spraying of pesticides or tuition increases, the use of riot gear, armored vehicles, etc. is not acceptable in my opinion.

If on the other hand if we have an armed individual or individuals that are actively threatening our safety, by all means lets make use of the appropriate tools and protective equipment in a responsible manner.

I think we as a community want the police to use the tactics and equipment appropriate to the situation.

While the image of a military armored vehicle can understandably cause us unease, it is my understanding that it will only be used under very exceptional circumstances.

We depend on the training and judgment of the police. The willy nilly or casual use of pepper spray, tasers, physical force and of course deadly force is never acceptable. I believe that our police force has shown they are understanding of their role in our community and of our high expectations. We are a community; the police are a part of our community not an occupying force.

So to answer your question succinctly – sadly we live in a nation where sometimes we must be prepared for the extreme circumstance; so yes, I am comfortable accepting a free donation of the armored vehicle with the clear understanding that the police will only use it under very narrow circumstances.

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85 Comments

  1. Clem Kadiddlehopper

    I think there was a president who said weapons of war have no place on american streets. I guess he meant, citizens -> disarmed, government -> overwhelming force.

    Donate this toy to the Davis Community Emergency Response Team. Paint the thing white and then in big bold letters print “RESCUE” on both doors. It could be set up to respond to disasters like earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, volcano eruptions, etc.

  2. Tia Will

    “I think we as a community want the police to use the tactics and equipment appropriate to the situation.
    While the image of a military armored vehicle can understandably cause us unease, it is my understanding that it will only be used under very exceptional circumstances.”

    I think the key error in Brett Lee’s comment is the phrase “appropriate to the situation”. I do not believe that we have seen the situation in Davis within the thirty plus years that I have been associated with the community where the use of a military vehicle of this type could be judged as “appropriate”.

    I do think that we have seen within the past 5 years a situation that the police might very well have deemed “very exceptional circumstances” and which I would have seen as highly inappropriate. I am referring of course to the
    pepper spraying incident of civilly disobedient, but seated and unarmed protestors.

    So far, we have no examples given of need within our community, and one recent incident on campus in which disproportionate use of force occurred. I believe in evidence. So far in our own community I believe that the
    evidence strongly favors not having this vehicle in our community. I am awaiting evidence from the police or the city that there is actual evidence of need, not speculation about what might occur and how it might be helpful.

    1. Barack Palin

      “I am awaiting evidence from the police or the city that there is actual evidence of need, not speculation about what might occur and how it might be helpful.”

      I can think of a lot of situations where the vehicle could save lives. A shooter on top of a campus building where many students are pinned down while the sniper is firing at them, as happened at Texas Univ. Has this ever happened at UCD, no and we’ve never had an oil car derailment in town either, but many citizens and our council want safety measures just in case.

        1. Alan Miller

          According to our math wizard statistician / police chief, mind you . . .

          I should be fair in that I actually get his point now, i.e. both are extremely unlikely, but we should be prepared just in case . . .

          Where I don’t agree is that I believe in most circumstances a tank can increase the level of tension, and therefore the likelihood of a clash rather than an easing of tension leading to a more human exchange and less people getting hurt. To those who view clashes as “us vs. them” this concept may not resonate.

      1. Tia Will

        BP

        “I can think of a lot of situations where the vehicle could save lives”

        I am sure that we can both think of many situations in which the vehicle might save lives and other situations in which it might facilitate injury or the taking of lives. This was not my point. I was requesting actual information about circumstances in which they have been used in situations that would be relevant to Davis in which lives have been saved.

  3. Offering Balance

    I am fine with this logical assessment of need.

    One thing thing that has not been mentioned is the need for outside assistance from other agencies. At some thine the Davis Police Department may be needed to assist another agency in a violent situation. We are not that far away from the Bay Area and Sacramento when the communities are a little less drum circle than Davis.

    1. Tia Will

      Offering Balance

      I agree that there might be other nearby cities in which this type of vehicle would seem to have more utility. The obvious answer to that would be to give it to them rather than drive off to they rescue in a vehicle that we do not need.

  4. David Greenwald

    I posted this in my own article: a police spokesperson told a local news station that the vehicle could be used to serve high risk warrants “where we know people are armed and dangerous.”

  5. South of Davis

    Councilmember Lee wrote:

    > Often there is also an ad for a Sacramento gun store which sells
    > high powered military style semi-automatic rifles.

    The key word is STYLE, they are just “military” STYLE weapons and not much more dangerous than Old School “Hunter” STYLE weapons.

    As I posted in a previous thread I do not own a rifle and I’m not a hunter, but as a high school kid (that was 18) I walked in to Osman’s Sporting Goods and walked out with a Ruger 10/22 rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammo (for under $150) .

    If you click the link below you can see a photo of the exact gun I bought with a (not scary looking) wood stock. Over the years I modified the gun to make it “look” different including adding a lot of (scary looking) “military style” stuff including a black composite folding stock. About 10 years ago I was told that my modified little .22 (with slightly more power than a nice pellet gun) was (in California) considered an “assault rifle” and was illegal (despite the fact that it still shot the same low power ammo) so I sold it to a cousin that lives in Eastern Oregon since I had not used it in years and I did not want to spend the money to modify it to make in to an (almost as scary looking) but “California legal” assault style weapon.

    As I also pointed out in a previous thread it costs a ton of time and money to keep an old Chevy and/or old boat in good running order and it is going to cost crazy money to keep that thing in tip top shape ready for the Hamas or ISIS attack on the Farmers Market (that will never come). The city needs to take a stand and get rid of that thing (unless the cops want it to spray pepper spray at protestors through the vents on the sides hidden inside so they don’t get on video like Lt. Pike)…

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fYwo_gHvUAw/Tu1qUN2KFoI/AAAAAAAAAKA/uhg66mVPXRs/s1600/ruger_banner.jpg

    1. Brett

      I think the relevant point with my comment about freely available weapons in our society is that the typical police cruiser is not designed to protect against the higher powered ones. The fact that someone has modified their .22 to look like a military style weapon does not change the fact as you correctly point out that there are in fact high powered rifles freely available for sale.

      If there is an active shooter situation, do we say to the police officers who must go into the situation “gee we’re sorry, we got squeemish looking at the military style vehicle in our garage so we sent it back. I hope the shooter is a bad shot”

      The vehicle in my opinion is the sad reflection of the society we live in. As I stated before, it has a very narrow purpose.

      1. South of Davis

        Brett wrote:

        > the typical police cruiser is not designed to protect
        > against the higher powered ones

        The hunting rifle my wife’s grandfather used to get food for his family in the late 1800’s is still in great shape and will blow a hole in 99% of the police cars made (since the car was invented a few years after the gun was made) yet for the past 100 years almost every city in CA had been fine without military vehicles.

        > If there is an active shooter situation, do we say to the police
        > officers who must go into the situation “gee we’re sorry, we
        > got squeemish looking at the military style vehicle in our garage
        > so we sent it back. I hope the shooter is a bad shot”

        I’ve been reading the news every day for the past 40 years and I can think of one (1) event when this thing might have helped (the crazy guy in LA with the body armor walking around shooting people 10+ years ago). Do you (or anyone else) really think an “active shooter” is going to stand in the middle of a park and wait for the cops to drive up in this thing and shoot him? Most “active shooters” hide INSIDE a building and to get at them INSIDE a building we will need a REAL tank (do you see where this is going)…

        P.S. I’m not anti-cop, anti-gun, or even “anti-military vehicle” (since I would love to own a beast like that to take off roading). I just think Davis would be safer if we sold the thing and paid for more range time for the force (as a former slow fire pistol competitor I am amazed at not only how little training they get, but at what poor shots most cops are)…

      2. Mark West

        Brett: “The vehicle in my opinion is the sad reflection of the society we live in. As I stated before, it has a very narrow purpose.”

        I think this vehicle represents a sad reflection of the attitudes of politicians, civic leaders and the police who believe that militarizing the police force will make us safer. There is no legitimate purpose for this vehicle in Davis and no legitimate reason to spend a penny on it for training, maintenance or operations.

      3. Tia Will

        Brett

        Please accept that in a way I am playing devil’s advocate ( and in another way am very serious). Using the logic you are putting forth, all of our police vehicles should be these armored vehicles since when a policeman goes out on patrol or on a call, he or she doesn’t really know what they will encounter. If what they encounter is someone that is bent on killing them with a high powered weapon, they will not be protected unless they just happened to take out the tank on that shift. Your thought about a “narrow use” makes the assumption that “the bad guys” in some way tip their hand in time for the police to be notified in advance that there is major badness going down. In the shooter situations where the most damage has been done in terms of lost life, most of it has occurred before the police even make it to the scene.

        1. tribeUSA

          Good point Tia, I’d like to see the evidence too.
          Its my understanding that high-power rifles that have the capability of penetrating police cruisers (and ‘bullet-proof’ vests) have been widely available and around for decades–has use by criminals of such high-power rifles increased recently; and what has been the death toll of police/civilians in situations where police have cornered an indivivual or group with such weapons? Are there other options of dealing with such situations in addition to overwhelming force (and the concomitant need for protection)? I too am concerned about the increased militarization of police; and wonder if often brute force is being substituted for good smart police/detective work and clever strategies for dealing with high-power weapon situations.

          Meanwhile, my little nephew wants to be a policeman and not a fireman now, because driving a tank is even cooler than driving a firetruck (I’m with him on that one).

        2. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > In the shooter situations where the most damage has been
          > done in terms of lost life, most of it has occurred before the
          > police even make it to the scene.

          This sounds like something I would read in a NRA magazine (I’m not a member but many friends are) explaining why people should have a gun in the home (not something that I would expect to read from Tia)…

          1. Tia Will

            South of Davis

            That is because you are coming to a conclusion that is very far from my point. I am not in favor of an escalating “I have bigger guns than you do and therefore I am safe mentality.” I believe that the best way to avoid gun injury is to not have guns. Pure, simple, and appropriate for a community like Davis.

  6. TrueBlueDevil

    “We live in a free society where the presumption is innocent until proven guilty,”

    Unless you’re a police officer in an urban area fighting for his life.

    1. Tia Will

      “Unless you’re a police officer in an urban area fighting for his life.”

      But we don’t live in such a situation. How many times in Davis have we had police officers fighting for their lives ?
      I do not deny that these situations exist. I just think that maybe we should give them our “tank”.

    2. Lydia London,pen.Real name D.Donlon

      Unless you’re a police officer in an urban area fighting for his life.
      Maybe the first five bullets shot at Mike Brown were enough to protect thta officer’s life. If the eye witnesses and the autopsy reports prove true.
      Maybe, with proper training re: stun guns, vs. real guns, and classes in stress management, that BART worker would not have killed an innocent young man at Fruitvale.

  7. Davis Native

    We live in a town which has never – in its 146-year history – had an incident which could have even tenuously justified the use of such a vehicle. Davis IS, on the other hand, internationally famous for the recent abuse of military-grade equipment (against peacefully protesting students) by local law enforcement on campus. Quite frankly: Landy Black, Brett Lee, et al should know better.

    Are we supposed to believe that the Wells Fargo situation would have been helped if local law enforcement had approached the building in a military/shoot-em-up-videogame-style armored car? The answer is NO, and these ‘cold war’ style arguments fall down: it does not add to our safety to have this vehicle. Rather, the vehicle’s mere presence – or potential use in an armed conflict – is more likely to encourage an escalation of violence in our local and/or surrounding communities.

  8. Frankly

    I do not believe that we have seen the situation in Davis within the thirty plus years that I have been associated with the community where the use of a military vehicle of this type could be judged as “appropriate”.

    Sure, and prior to 9/11/2001 you had never seen a situation where all the resulting changes to our national security could be judged as appropriate.

    With all due respect, I don’t think you are in a good enough position to be able to assess the potential need for a tool like this. We would hope we would never have to use it, just as you would hope to never have to use a defibrillator. The point is risk mitigation.

      1. Frankly

        I think the mission has changed because the types and levels of threats to the public have changed. As Algore would say, it is an “inconvenient truth” for those that envision a more cooperative, egalitarian, kumbaya type of world.

        I think Davis people sometimes have this sense that we are a city walled from and immune from the standard risks and challenges of the world.

        Remember the image of the hippie girl putting a daisy in the barrel of the gun of the National Guard soldier. It is fine to advocate peace. But to interfere with the job of law enforcement just because of symbolism is, in fact, hazardous behavior.

    1. Tia Will

      “, I don’t think you are in a good enough position to be able to assess the potential need for a tool like this”

      I don’t think that any of us are. That is why I am asking for Chief Black to present some solid evidence ( not speculation about how it might be useful) of instances in which it has been useful in the American small city venue. I am by profession evidence based. I do not just buy a fancy new surgical instrument and start using it because an equipment rep. tells me how I might need it some day if I were to run into an unusual situation. I want evidence that it works in the kind of surgeries that I perform. I don’t care if it works well in a military field hospital. I want to know if it is going to help my gyn patients here. I see this in very much the same light. I have no doubt that this vehicle has some uses. I am just not convinced that it has any uses for the city of Davis.
      I would love to see some evidence one way or the other.

      1. Lydia London,pen.Real name D.Donlon

        P.S. Don’t patronize the Vanguard readership by stating we are not in a position to decide when a village needs a tank. Readers can come to their own opinions & conclusions. We don’t need to be members of the military, or law enforcement, to form opinions about this subject.

  9. Frankly

    How about we all stop with emotional responses to immaterial symbolism, and just have the city develop a policy and protocol for how this tool can be used?

    1. South of Davis

      Frankly wrote:

      > How about we all stop with emotional responses to immaterial symbolism

      I don’t care about the “symbolism” (I think the thing is cool), I’m just upset that we will end up paying a ton of money for something we don’t “need” (and might end up with even more expensive to maintain “toys” when the police realize that the new “toy” does not have the power to drive “through” a school to stop the “terrorists” that just might come some day…

          1. Jim Frame

            I’d like the City Council to obtain and publish a realistic cost-of-ownership budget for the vehicle, including training costs. I think we need to know as accurately as possible how much having this piece of “free” equipment is costing us before we can decide whether it’s worth the expense. This analysis can run in parallel with (and independent of) the philosophical discussions.

          2. Jim Frame

            I found a 2010 doctoral thesis titled “A MODEL TO ESTIMATE THE OPERATING & MAINTENANCE (O&M) COSTS OF THE MINE RESISTANT
            AMBUSH PROTECTED (MRAP) VEHICLES” published by the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. The author acknowledges that it’s an imperfect study, but pegged 2009 field maintenance costs (the kind that a low-use vehicle might require) between $11k and $34k (it varies by service branch) and maintenance training costs between $7k and $19k. (It’s hard to say how much the latter would pertain to a low-use vehicle.) Spare parts and consumables combined ran between $30k and $90k. (Again, hard to say how much of that might pertain to our little MRAP.) Any way you look at it, it’s a lot of dough for a truck that’s likely to see only a biweekly spin around the police station back lot (assuming we’re not paying rent to store it somewhere else).

            In my brief search I also ran across a story about the Saginaw County (MI) Sherriff’s decision to give his MRAP back because it costs too much to keep it. Hmmm…

          3. Jim Frame

            Another tidbit, this from the Wikipedia article on MRAPs:

            Though the vehicles are obtained for free, they have drawbacks for law enforcement. Some types weigh as much as 18 tons, which limits mobility on certain bridges, roads, and uneven ground. Fuel efficiency can be as little as 5 miles per gallon. Refitting a vehicle with a closed turret, black paint, new seating, loudspeakers, and emergency lights can cost around $70,000.

          4. South of Davis

            Jim wrote:

            > The author acknowledges that it’s an imperfect study,
            > but pegged 2009 field maintenance costs (the kind that
            > a low-use vehicle might require) between $11k and $34k

            Thanks for tracking down this information. When it costs almost $2K a year for me to keep an old Suburban (I bought for $3K) in running shape I knew that it would cost MUCH MUCH more to keep something that cost more than a typical Davis HOME when new maintained (by union labor) and ready to go 24/7. If we can’t get a city like Davis (where 90% of the voters don’t want the thing) to get rid of a big expensive money sucking military vehicle that we will (probably) never use we are doomed to financial ruin (even sooner than I thought we would be)…

          5. Lydia London,pen.Real name D.Donlon

            Training. Yeah, that would be a good idea, but a better one is to return it to whomever gave it to Davis.

    2. Tia Will

      Frankly

      How about we all stop with the emotional responses ( either I feel safer, or I feel less safe) and let the police present some actual facts about the actual need for, outcomes of, and costs of having this type of vehicle in a Davis like setting ?
      Once we know whether or not it is a useful and cost effective piece of equipment, then and only then, should we develop a protocol for its use.

  10. hpierce

    Ironically, we have long had a “bomb squad”, in conjunction with other agencies in the county/State, and the firepower we’ve had with “tactical/SWAT” units is considerable. I could see that this device, with its defensive capabilities for officers, might reduce the perceived need to use ‘offensive’ firepower.

    The ‘best and highest use’ of such a vehicle (if shared with other agencies) could be in safely approaching a meth lab, a possibility that I think is magnitudes more likely than a citizens’ insurrection.

    Would such a vehicle helped in Columbine? Waco? Definitely not the former, and in the latter, much more fire-power was used, admittedly by Federal law enforcement agencies. Keep the thing in the garage for now, but let’s have the public discussion of whether such a ‘tool’ has a place as a resource for local/regional law-enforcement (and if so, let’s get some cooperation in funding its maintenance, etc.).

    1. Frankly

      Very good points.

      But I would not discount Columbine. As I recall, Police protocol requires assurance that the threat has been cleared before advancing to extract victims and potential victims. Having an armored vehicle that can be positions as a shield would potentially allow the police to begin extraction earlier.

          1. PhilColeman

            To expound on the response time of tactical deployment just a bit, local law enforcement cannot maintain a 24-hour response team analogous to the Air Force being able to scramble intercepting fighters on a moment’s notice to a radar blip. The costs are astronomical.

            Instead, a “call-out” protocol is formulated and specially trained officers are summoned to duty on an emergency basis. Even in the most ideal circumstances, the mobilization is measured in hours, not minutes.

            That leaves the all-purpose vastly unappreciated duty patrol force to fill the void. The last of the world’s generalists, the patrol officer is asked to do everything after 5pm. And the truly amazing thing is, they do it repeatedly and routinely, with remarkable skill and efficiency. But you never hear about that, that it worked! Media and blogs specialize as well, real and perceived public safety screw-ups.

          2. Frankly

            Yup. No news is good news for the work of policing. The media only wants to bark about the stories that get a rise out of people.

            This then explains why often policing decisions are made without any more disclosure than is required by law. This is similar to disclosures about military defense decisions.

            It is those that bark the loudest about not being told that are the root cause for risk-aversion toward transparency. Do we ever hear “thanks for being transparent, now lets work together.”?

            No, what the barkers are generally complaining about when it comes to decision transparency is their displeasure over not being able to make a scene about the decisions earlier. Because it is never about cooperation, it is about winning.

  11. hpierce

    Just thought of another angle… frequent use of the equipment on City streets could accelerate their deterioration, particularly if used on the more residential streets.

    1. South of Davis

      hpierce wrote:

      > Just thought of another angle… frequent use of the equipment on
      > City streets could accelerate their deterioration, particularly if used
      > on the more residential streets.

      Can anyone better with Google than I am find the Gross Vehicle Weight of that thing? Just by looking I can tell it is many times more than a Prius (or my SUV)…

        1. South of Davis

          Thanks Ann,

          it looks like the MRAP has it’s own Wikipedia entry (not everyone is a fan)

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MRAP

          It looks like Davis will be paying a lot more for road repair if we ever use 14+ Ton MRAP since (according to the DOT) “One axle of 10 tons on a heavy truck was 160,000 times more damaging to a road surface than an axle of 0.5 tons (car scale)”

          Not 160 times more, but 160 THOUSANT times more damage….

          https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/091116/03.htm

          1. Frankly

            Too bad the “cops are bad” people did not take this fiscal sanity approach to make their case. Because now they have shown their true colors and inflamed opposition at a more visceral level.

  12. rogerbockrath

    Just imagine if Lt. Pike had been driving that rig, complete with water cannons, on the day he pepper sprayed unarmed, peacefully demonstrating U.C. Davis students. Instead of sore eyes we would have had students in the hospital or the morgue. If the City of Davis wants to keep this war machine we need a city ordinance making it illegal for police to use it in any way against demonstrators.

    Has anybody commented on why the Feds no longer need it. Perhaps it’s because it became obsolete when they started using unmanned drones on the citizens of the Middle East states. Guess it wouldn’t be politically correct to give it to the Israelis.

    1. South of Davis

      Roger wrote:

      > Has anybody commented on why the Feds no longer need it.

      I did, it is because the Feds are getting NEW ones. Congress needs to give the defense contractors some new business in exchange for all the bribes (I mean perfectly legal campaign contributions)…

    1. Dave Hart

      That cartoon, like all good humor, is so funny precisely because it is true. I would argue the decision to accept the MRAP was an emotional one in the first place by our Chief of Police. It is part of the ongoing and increasing problem that civilian police forces are drifting more and more toward the attitude that they are at war with some part of the population and therefore need more sophisticated armaments. Once a piece of equipment like this is part of the arsenal it will get used whether or not it is objectively justified.

      I think the best use of the MRAP is to park it downtown on a Wednesday night and let the citizens sledgehammer on it and dedicate the spectacle to the citizens of Ferguson, MO. That would make me proud of Davis.

  13. Offering Balance

    Fire departments PURCHASE ladder trucks that can reach the tops of the tallest building in their towns (minus sky scrapers) even though they may never need to use them. Should we question those purchases?

    1. Dave Hart

      Until the Fire Department begins to take on surplus weaponry, no, I do not question any type of purchase by the Fire Department. The Police Department has the power to kill you or me if we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is the difference.

      1. Frankly

        What side of the law are you attributing to “you or me”?

        Because, unlike the fire department, the police department has the power to save you an me from being killed by others if we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact, the fire department will be precluded from entering a zone by dangerous from human hostility until the police arrive and clear it of danger.

    2. Tia Will

      Offering Balance

      “Should we question those purchases?”

      Yes. Because every equipment purchase represents expenditure of money that might better have been spent on another item.

      In my field, I might want the latest new ultrasound with all the bells and whistles, but if the machine that I have now is providing adequate images, I might be better off spending that money on “less sexy” but more practical office equipment or training for myself or my staff.

      I agree with the poster who stated that he/she felt the decision to accept this vehicle in the first place was an emotional one on the part of Chief Black. If this is not the case, then surely Chief Black will be able to present to the city the actual data that caused him to believe that our city needed and can afford this piece of equipment.

  14. Alan Miller

    I wish to make my stance clear: We need to run this Tank our of town. No arguments, no studying of costs. Just because it is here doesn’t mean it should be here. If this had gone up for debate before its acquisition was completed, neither the Citizens nor the Council would have approve/allowed it. So let’s not F— around here waiting on maintenance costs or other hooey. I am calling on this tank to be returned to sending, like, as soon after before-it-got-here as humanly doable.

    City Council: Tank the tank.

  15. Dave Hart

    I’m very disappointed in Brett Lee. His arguments are the same ones used to justify the airport security screening methods that have little or no effect on real air travel security. Those measures seem to be aimed more at making people fearful and therefore compliant than in actually catching a potential terrorist. We could spend a lot less and have better security, but it might not result in people being cowed into a group think that pits us versus them in the world.

    I don’t buy it and I’m disappointed that Brett Lee has bought into the big bureaucratic police solution paradigm. The fact is our city does not need this equipment. If there are people who feel we do need it, then we need to have a conversation, a dialogue on what we should do to eliminate the need for such equipment.

    1. Dave Hart

      As a follow up, while I do not like the apologetic tone of Brett Lee’s article, I am willing to listen to how the overwhelming public opinion (as i am experiencing it with friends and total strangers) shapes the resulting debate and decision-making by the City Council. It is on the agenda for next week.

  16. Lydia London,pen.Real name D.Donlon

    Dear Brett.
    I have strong opinions re: the little village of Davis’ acquisition, albeit for “free”, of a military-type tank. But John Oliver said it so much better, and with humor. If you have time, please google John Oliver, Police Militarization.
    My father was a cop. My family members have been seriously harassed by Yolo Co. law enforcement, including, but not limited to, the campus cops and Davis city cops. I also had to call a cop once, when a former boyfriend was on my porch, threatening me. So I guess I am someone who sees both the need for cops, and the danger of cops.
    Your latest acquisition of a military style tank for the little village of Davis is nothing short of heartbreaking. It’s never too late to reconsider this. Please return it to whomevever gave it to the city.
    Davis doesn’t need a tank to protect itself. But if you are a hammer, all you will see is nails.
    Thank you.
    Lydia

  17. Lydia London,pen.Real name D.Donlon

    Dear Rob,
    Maybe it’s no big dealt for the people not listed below, but here are a few of the businesses I won’t be able to give my money to once I begin to avoid Davis like the plague. My two sisters, daughter, and others will also not be visiting Davis if Davis keeps its army toys. Davis doesn’t need a tank.
    Dos Coyotes – sorry Bobby. Won’t be stopping in South Davis for my Dos fix.
    Movie theaters- both of them
    Cafe Bernardo
    Davis Econolodge
    Cafe Italia for breakfast
    Crepeville
    That drive through coffee place
    Davis Farmers’ Market
    Ciocolat
    McDonalds near the freeway
    The new Carls’ Jr. where Wendy’s was
    Village Bakery by the train station
    Any Gas Station
    The Co-Op
    My beloved Steves’ Pizza

  18. Tia Will

    Frankly

    ” It depends on which side of the law you are on.”

    It also depends on whether or not you believe that all of the laws apply to you. This may not be the case whichever side of the uniform that you happen to be on. Regulations for appropriate use of equipment seems to have been something that was taken rather casually in the 2011 incident on the UCD campus. This is something that really happened, not some histrionics or revisionist history.

  19. zantor2

    So Councilman Lee IS going support this piece of MILITARY equipment, but says it should not be used on PEACEFUL LEGAL protestors. The problem is BRETT = you don’t a say WHEN the PD decides it is under threat and they define the protestors as DANGEROUS for whatever reason. How will you fell if you are one of those protesting and you see this monstrosity roll up as the full armor police point M16’s at you. You are in for a rude awakening to the new MILITARIZED Davis PD. Open your eyes the world has changed the police view you as THE ENEMY = just like the military sees a target

  20. London

    “The willy nilly or casual use of pepper spray, tasers, physical force and of course deadly force is never acceptable…”
    I stood in my own living room in south Davis in a sheer cotton nightshirt and was handcuffed by Yolo Co. law enforcement, who were heavily armed in swat like uniforms. Willy nilly is putting it mildly.

  21. Pingback: Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis Speaks Out on MRAP | .:Davis Vanguard:.

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