Vanguard Commentary: Sending Away MRAP Doesn’t Mean We Can Borrow It

Bearcat represents a more appropriate armored vehicle for Davis.
BearCat represents a more appropriate armored vehicle for Davis.

Last week the Vanguard learned that the MRAP had indeed left town and gone to Woodland. The decision to bring the MRAP to Woodland was a 4-1 vote, which differed sharply from the decision the Davis City Council first made in August, and reiterated in October, to return the vehicle.

That is a choice and decision that is between Woodland and its citizens – although a number of people are planning to go protest the decision at the next Woodland City Council meeting tomorrow night.

At the same time, the city of Davis has to be very clear, the objection to the MRAP was not based on it merely being located within the city limits. Certainly part of our concern was the need for the city of Davis to have its own vehicle – when the need, that has arisen, has been less than a handful of times per month.

But there have been broader concerns raised in the community about the militarization of police, as well as the adaptability of the MRAP to the urban environment. Neither of these concerns change with the relocation of the vehicle from Davis to Woodland.

We called, at the time, for a regional approach to police armored vehicles as the need arises to make high-risk warrant calls. These are situations that do not arise frequently enough to justify our own vehicle, however, at a regional level, the availability of one or two armored vehicles is useful. However, the Vanguard called for the acquisition of a non-military vehicle. Bringing in a military vehicle from Woodland or West Sacramento would run counter to the views expressed by the public in August and by the city council twice.

In October, Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis told Councilmember Lee that he was willing to put resources into a vehicle that provides protection to the police, however, he argued that the MRAP is really not an appropriate vehicle for our community.

“I would be very willing to put resources into a vehicle that provided protection,” he said. “It’s not just that symbols matter, which they do. I tried to speak to that. Some people agreed with that perspective, some people didn’t.

“Fundamentally I don’t think the vehicle, the MRAP, is adapted to our situation,” he continued. “It does one thing well, it protects people inside.” Citing military literature, he argued, “There’s a lot of disagreement about the value of this vehicle.

“One of the reasons we’re seeing them show up in our communities is because they haven’t worked very well except for one thing – as you’re going down a road, a pretty straight road, a flat road, if a bomb goes off, it will protect everybody inside. That we know. Everyone agrees with that,” the Mayor Pro Tem explained. “Where the disagreement comes in is what happens if you have to wheel it into a tight spot.” He said up hills, on uneven terrain, even up driveways are problematic for the vehicle.

“What happens in an urban environment?” he continued. “The consensus there is that it’s not very well adapted.” He called it “a product of really a broken military system. There were five companies that made these.” He said when they “got into theater they couldn’t even find the parts to repair these because they’re specialized parts.”

Do those concerns change if the vehicle is housed in Woodland? No.

“I believe very personally that we need to create a very clear line of separation between military and police,” he stated. He reiterated his trust and appreciation for the local police, but added, “I said it will hurt [that trust], it will, if we bring military equipment in.”

In their community discussion in November, Assistant Chief Pytel then made a presentation that illustrated the police’s side of the MRAP story. Darren Pytel said that, before the acquisition of the MRAP, the Davis Police had no mobile armored protection. Access to an armored vehicle was limited, with a delayed response. The tactical team had access to an armored vehicle, but the equipment was outdated, limited and increasingly failing.

Darren Pytel told the audience that he didn’t think the MRAP would fly in Davis, but after talking with his team, he became convinced it was necessary.

Assistant Chief Pytel argued that the dynamics of policing has changed with AB 109 and will do so even more with Prop. 47. Since 2010, felony arrests are up 105 percent. Drug related arrests are up 163 percent since 2010. Robberies are up 27 percent since 2010.

“So we’re dealing with more and more crime,” he said. “Keep reading the news and I think you will be seeing and reading a lot more about that in the coming years.”

He argued that, while there are positive areas of AB 109 and Prop. 47, “realize it’s going to take years to actually change the system to reduce recidivism… But we’re going to see a couple of rough years here, probably pretty soon.”

But the Assistant Chief acknowledged that, not only did he believe that the community would not accept the MRAP, but that it also wasn’t the most ideal vehicle for the urban setting. However, he argued that, given budgetary considerations and the cost of the MRAP, he became convinced that this was the best alternative.

The bottom line here is that the same objections to the MRAP exist with the vehicle in Woodland. The Davis City Council needs to make it clear that the police cannot get the MRAP in through the back door of Woodland.

If the city needs a solution for the safety of police, we need to allocate the money needed for a civilian armored vehicle such as the BearCat that Brett Lee and Rochelle Swanson pushed back in October. Given our infrequent need, we would prefer a regional approach, but if Woodland and West Sacramento are satisfied with their MRAPs, then we need to go it alone.

The issue is militarization of police, and that issue does not stop at the Davis border.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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64 Comments

  1. Tia Will

    David

    I would like to see a more detailed breakdown of the “crime” in the statistics presented. If the “crimes” that are increasing involve high risk weapons and threats on officers lives, then I would clearly see the need for our own armored vehicle. However, if the “crimes” that are occurring are petty theft, individual drug cases where weaponry is not involved, or other non violent crimes that are deliberately being linked through non specific use of statistics to AB 109 and Prop. 47, then I think that we have the right to know that too. It is important not to lump all crime into the same basket combined with pictures or actual confiscated weapons in order to use fear as the driver behind the assessment of need.

    1. Davis Progressive

      if you look statewide you see an initial uptick in crime followed by a downtick.  however, it varies across counties with some way down and some way up.  there are other factors like police cutbacks and bankruptcy that people like pytel conveniently omit in their summary analysis.  i posted some of this in the prop 47 discuss a few weeks back.

    1. Davis Progressive

      it’s not the most expensive way to do things.  i think a lot cities are going to realize that the mrap is a lot more trouble than they’re worth.

  2. theotherside

    It must be nice…. to not be the one who has to strap on kevlar, train non-stop, work tirelessly, and worry whether you are coming home at the end of your work day.  It must be nice to sit back in your office chair and make demands on those that protect you day in and day out.  It must be nice to sit back and try to make amateur decisions on someone else’s safety.  All on a premise that a certain vehicle makes you uncomfortable.  Your voice has been heard and non-law enforcement personnel have agreed with you.  You’ve been given an inch but are reaching for a mile now.

    How about you just not worry about it anymore?  Just go to sleep each night and rest assured those who have sworn to protect you will do their job and do it safely.  They will seek out offenders and their weapons so that you are not harmed with them.  And that they will have a chance to go home to their family at the end of the day/night.  Don’t worry, everything will be OK.

    A lot of people have talked about trust lately.  Trust your agency and its command staff.  Trust that they won’t let a tank roll down Richards making vehicle stops or that said tank will not drive over your house.  Trust that the joint W Sac/Davis SWAT team’s armored rescue vehicle will not disturb your village or daily activities.

    I know the MRAP stories get a lot of hits on your site, but it’s gone now, don’t make me sing Let it Go to you David.

    1. Alan Miller

      “Just go to sleep each night and rest assured those who have sworn to protect you will do their job and do it safely . . . Don’t worry, everything will be OK.”

      Mmmm . . . tell that to my friends who were sprayed in the face with pepper spray, or my friend who had his forehead smashed into a lawn sprinkler on the Quad.  Yeah, they were told to leave, you say, and they didn’t you say.  Keep saying that.  “And when they came for me there was no one left to speak for me . . . ” — Martin Niemoller

      I have many friends who are just anti-cop; they are full of shit.  I also read this “everything is OK, trust the cops” mentality, and that is full of shit, too.

      When I have served on a jury, I quickly see the jurors biased that the “the cops are always right” and the others who are biased to “the cops are always wrong”.  There might be one or two other people of the twelve who actually believe everyone is human and potentially fallible.  Nearly everyone wants to go home early.  I make them look at the evidence and I drag it out, hours or days, until the evidence convinces me.  I don’t care if everyone hates me.  Hell if I’m going home early to watch TV and change someone’s life forever because of nine or ten people’s unchecked bias and laziness.

    2. Davis Progressive

      “How about you just not worry about it anymore?  Just go to sleep each night and rest assured those who have sworn to protect you will do their job and do it safely. ”

      that’s not how a democracy works.

      “I know the MRAP stories get a lot of hits on your site, but it’s gone now, don’t make me sing Let it Go to you David.”

      i don’t know what kind of traffic these stories get, but it’s not gone, we might end up with the mrap coming into town, that appears to be a matter of some concern.

       

      1. theotherside

        We live in a republic not a democracy.  The difference is you vote for those who make laws and decisions in the republic whereas everyone gets a say in a democracy.  And it worked, you voted in Council members that voted it gone.  You should be happy.

        The Armored Rescue Vehicle very well may come into town but it will not harm you DP.  And there is very little you can do about it, you won’t even notice.

        Funny, you stand up and shout for it to be gone and still aren’t happy when it is.  How far does it need to go to make you comfortable?

        1. Davis Progressive

          that’s a definitional difference, not an operational one.  a democracy or republic (really doesn’t matter for the purpose of my comment) requires the citizens vigilance not blind trust or blind faith.

          “Funny, you stand up and shout for it to be gone and still aren’t happy when it is.  How far does it need to go to make you comfortable?”

          it has to actually be gone, not come back here when the dpd uses it in a jpa operation.

        2. theotherside

          When my child was 8 they would change definitions of words/phrases to fit their argument.  Congratulations DP, you are now qualified to debate a 3rd grader.

          DP wrote “it has to actually be gone, not come back here when the dpd uses it in a jpa operation.”

          So what?  To quote a hero from the left, what difference does it make?  How will this harm you?  It’s just a vehicle, metal, nuts, bolts, and tires.  Seriously, it’s gone, let it go.

        3. Davis Progressive

          that’s absurd.  my point was not contingent on a strict definition of republic/ democracy and using the term democracy in general sense.

          in terms of why and how it harms me, i happen to believe the need for the division between military and civilian and i believe having military vehicles in the hands of civilian police erodes that lines and undermines the sanctity of our society and thereby our liberty.  is that okay with you?

  3. Frankly

    Pretty early in my development from child to adult I recognized the sub-optimization problem with emotional-based decisions and grew determined to learn how to recognize the signs and re-frame every decision into rational considerations.   Frankly, (because I am), I struggle to not be periodically contemptuous of people demonstrating strong emotional reactions with insufficient rational arguments to back their demands and positions.  And this includes false rational arguments that only serve to attempt to prop up what are really emotional impulses.

    I respect and like Robb Davis, but this is exactly what he has done.  He says “symbols matter” and “I believe very personally that we need to create a very clear line of separation between military and police”, but then walks a nuanced rational line explaining that the MRAP is not “not well adapted to our situation”.

    But the first two point tells us all we need to know about the basis for his position.   He made his no-MRAP decision on symbolism and an emotional-based reaction toward anything “military”.

    Many of our problems in governance can be traced to this tendency to skip or subordinate objective and quantitative analyses and replace them with seemingly desperate attempts to rationalize the emotive.   Personally, I would be much more likely to admire the honesty and frankness of people taking a stand on the basis of feelings if they just admitted it and left it at that.   Just tell us that they are sticking us all with a greater cost because of their inability to get over their strong feelings.

     

     

    1. Robb Davis

      One characteristic of the mature adult brain is the capacity to consider and account for multiple factors in decision making.  The mature brain moves away from simplistic dichotomies of “good/bad” and adopts a more nuanced understanding of complexity and the multifactorial nature of decision making.  The adult brain handles abstract concepts well and includes them in decision making.  The adult brain is capable of thinking in complex systems the way a child is not.  Dichotomous thought (including Manichean systems of belief) is poorly suited to making decisions in a complex (post) modern world.

      In some communities around the world the ability to think abstractly and include multifactorial analysis of problems are what pass for wisdom.

      Experts in adult learning point out that some of the deepest learning is anchored via affective approaches to content.  Thus, the affective (emotional) is not confined to childhood learning/interacting with the world, it is very much a key component of how we interact with our world as adults.

      And by the way, I spoke clearly about conditional probabilities in my initial discussion of the MRAP (the “quantitative analysis to which you refer): there is the probability of facing a situation in which an MRAP might be useful (an active shooter or trained gunman) as well as the probability that in such an event the MRAP would actually be useful.  By nearly any assessment (including pure frequentist or Bayesian probabilistic analyses) the cumulative probability of needing an MRAP is extremely small.

      As far as emotions go, it would seem that you, Frankly, are overcome with emotion in this case.  You are “risk-confused” in the extreme claiming that you will hold me accountable for any death to a police officer caused by not owning the MRAP but unwilling to assess the causal factors that would lead to such an occurrence so that we can work to take actions to prevent them in a primary sense (you may as well hold the casual heroin or cannabis user “accountable” for creating an economic demand for drugs that attract dealers and crime–perhaps they should be placed in the public “stocks” you will place me in to demonstrate my “sin”).  Thus, I have not seen or heard you talk about preventing drug addiction which creates a demand for drugs and drug dealers.  I have not heard you talk about preventing the obtaining of weapons of mass destruction (high powered automatic and semi-automatic rifles) by said dealers.  I have rarely heard you talk about increasing national or local funding to deal with mental health problems.  Rational, “above-emotion”, conversations should also focus on primary prevention rather than the de-facto throwing up of hands as if there is nothing we can do until a drug dealer or mentally unstable individual holes up with a gun and starts shooting.

      I am shocked that you, a consistent conservative who is suspicious of the overreach of the federal government would defend a program that permits its reach deeply into every jurisdiction in the region, bringing hardware designed for the battlefield into each of our communities.  It is clear that the 1033 program merely preserves the ability of the wasteful (do you deny it?) military industrial complex to build more expensive hardware that is poorly adapted to actual combat situations.  By participating in this program we are merely enabling further wasteful spending.  This can only justified on extremely pure Keynesian grounds whereby we foster a kind of military Keynesianism to keep the economy going.  I would be shocked to learn you are a Keynesian but I guess anything is possible.  While I do subscribe to certain elements of Keynesian thought, I reject as inherently destabilizing the crude military form you seem to be promoting.

      1. Alan Miller

        “It is clear that the 1033 program merely preserves the ability of the wasteful (do you deny it?) military industrial complex to build more expensive hardware that is poorly adapted to actual combat situations.”

        Gambling in Casablanca?!?!?!!!

      2. South of Davis

        Robb wrote:

        >  a consistent conservative who is suspicious of the

        > overreach of the federal government 

        Like most (but not all) “conservatives” Frankly is critical of the “left leaning” “overreach of the federal government” and does not want the government to tell us what kind of bag to use but has no problems with our government sending drones to kill people in other countries that we don’t like (just like most “liberals” don’t want the government sending drones to kill people but have no problem sending union members to schools that tell our kids that they should not drink stuff they don’t like)…

        1. South of Davis

          P.S. Are others getting the white screen of death every time they post?

          P.P.S. Did anyone else see the people protesting something outside the new Carlton Senior Living place on 5th Street today?

        2. Frankly

          I don’t support sending drones to kill people in other countries that we don’t like.  I don’t know any conservatives or liberals that do.  However, I do support sending drones to kill people belonging to groups that kill, or threaten to kill, Americans, and others that American is committed to defend.

          Actually, I would prefer isolationism if I thought it would keep us safer and prosperous enough.  But since it will not, I see no choice but to continually go kill those that would kill us and our friends.

          A strong national defense is supported in the constitutional.  And I include police and the criminal law side of the judicial as being part of national defense.  Little else about big government is supported by the Constitution.

      3. Frankly

        Robb – thanks for the response.

        One characteristic of the mature adult brain is the capacity to consider and account for multiple factors in decision making.

        Absolutely.  But then to use that capacity to make optimized decisions or face a history of sub-optimized decision (otherwise known as mistakes in judgement).  I’m sure you know that many people that lose their shirt investing do so because they let their emotions rule their investment decision-making?  Davis returned the MRAP primarily due to the CC reacting to the strong negative emotional reaction of a minority of residents.  Woodland either lacks the residents having a similar strong negative emotional reaction and/or Woodland has a CC that does not react to it.  We liquidated an asset at great loss because of emotions.  We did the same with Mace 391.  We have over-compensated city workers and we continue to over compensate city workers because of emotions.  Sub-optimized decisions leave a trail of damage.

        Woodland’s needs with respect to law enforcement are not materially different that are Davis’s.  In fact, if anything, given that we are home to a world-class university that puts more media focus on the town, we can factor some increase risk of needing to deal with an active shooter situation.  So was Woodland wrong to accept the MRAP?

        As far as emotions go, it would seem that you, Frankly, are overcome with emotion in this case.  You are “risk-confused” in the extreme claiming that you will hold me accountable for any death to a police officer caused by not owning the MRAP but unwilling to assess the causal factors that would lead to such an occurrence so that we can work to take actions to prevent them in a primary sense

        I don’t understand your “risk confused” point.

        In my career I trained employees on problem management best practices in IT.  When a problem occurs, there are two types of resolutions to pursue: temporary and permanent.   The key is to understand when a temporary resolution is needed and to not confuse the two.  But ultimately each and every problem should have a permanent resolution.  This is part of the continuous improvement method and is the core foundation of disciplines like Six Sigma.

        But if you ignore the immediate need for resolution to only focus on a permanent one, the machines stop running.

        In the business world opportunity risk is calculated no differently than is risk of loss… they both have real numbers assigned.  They both have probability criteria assigned.  We had an opportunity to better protect our police personnel and potential victims of crime and we instead decided to reject that opportunity.  That decision has a true opportunity cost.  I don’t think you are factoring that cost well enough.

        I also see your comment as confusing the temporary need with the desire for more permanent solutions.   Bad guys with guns exist today.  Oil trains exist today.  People that would set bombs exist today.  I support you 100% in working to reduce the risks that contributes to the need of an MRAP vehicle, but to ignore or deny the need in pursuit of those larger goals is unwarranted and foolish… basically transferring unnecessary risk to the cops.   When you are in authority to make these decisions and do, don’t you agree that you should be held accountable for the outcomes?

        I am shocked that you, a consistent conservative who is suspicious of the overreach of the federal government would defend a program that permits its reach deeply into every jurisdiction in the region, bringing hardware designed for the battlefield into each of our communities.

        I think you are over-thinking the conservative viewpoint here.

        First, a conservative generally supports a strong national defense because that has always been a key tenant of the constitution.   So a conservative does not factor the military as part of the “big government” complaint.  As a percentage of GDP, defense spending has declined over the last 60 years while non-defense spending has skyrocketed.

        A conservative also tends to see tax money as being his/her money and not someone else’s.  And related to this, the MRAP was available for free, was a much better tool than what we had and the maintenance would be not more, and probably less, than the cost of the existing vehicle.  And lastly and more importantly, Davis cannot afford to purchase that “perfect” vehicle that somehow, even having the EXACT SAME utility, would be more socially and politically acceptable to those throwing emotional tantrums about the MRAP symbolizing war (what ever that actually means).

        1. Robb Davis

          Frankly wrote:

          Davis returned the MRAP primarily due to the CC reacting to the strong negative emotional reaction of a minority of residents. 

          This argument (this narrative) has been repeated over and over again and, as far my vote it is absolutely incorrect.  You can keep repeating it but that will not make it true.  It was a rational decision based on many factors and this was most definitely NOT in my calculus. Period.  Please, could you stop repeating this.

          Your arguments about temporary versus permanent are useful but I will repeat–since you do not seem to be interested in addressing it–the probability of a need in the short term is minimal–infinitesimal in fact.  And this is where your response (frankly) confuses me.  Do you really want policy makers reducing risk of loss of health or life to near zero?  Because, in this case that is what it, in reality, appears you are calling for.  The risks are minimal by any reckoning.  I know they don’t “feel” minimal because we see pictures of guns and hear stories of mass shootings but to succumb to fear because they don’t “feel” minimal would be, well, an emotional response devoid of reason.  So, how much are you willing to pay to reduce risks of fires (for example) to zero, to reduce the risk of injury of firefighters to zero.  To reduce the risk of heart attack or car accidents among police officers (the main killers of officers on duty nationwide) to zero?

          Please stop repeating the incorrect mantra that this was free.  There is no such thing.  You and others are fooling yourselves if you think the DOD is going to act as a neighborhood parts supplier and just ship us needed parts at our demand.  You are wrong if you think maintenance of these vehicles is just like any other.  Literature from the military suggests otherwise.  And even Darren admitted that the MRAP did not have the capacity best suited to our needs so the MRAP is by no means a perfect substitute for another armored vehicle.  Saying so does not make it so.

          Your brand of conservatism supports a strong national defense which, quite honestly is nothing but military adventurism under the guise of acting as the world’s police.  There are other conservative voices–ones that I find much more credible than the neocon ones who are quite critical of this approach (read The American Conservative for more on this).

        2. Don Shor

          due to the CC reacting to the strong negative emotional reaction of a minority of residents.

          You have no evidence that it was a “minority of residents.” My guess is that people in public office get a pretty good sense for what the public opinion is on a subject, and they don’t base that strictly on the intensity of feedback.

        3. Frankly

          It was a rational decision based on many factors and this was most definitely NOT in my calculus.

          Ok.  Fair enough.  I will accept that your ultimate decision just lined up with the emotional reactionaries, but yours was decided from a much more comprehensive set of considerations.    I think where we end up is that both of us apply different weighting criteria to our considerations.

          The probability of a need in the short term is minimal–infinitesimal in fact.  And this is where your response (frankly) confuses me.  Do you really want policy makers reducing risk of loss of health or life to near zero?

          First, I do NOT agree with this assessment of probability of need.  I see it as greater.  Second, I have a life insurance policy but the probability that I will need it is minimal-infinitesimal in fact.  What is that small risk of harm or death really worth?

          Please stop repeating the incorrect mantra that this was free.

          As I understand we paid $0 for it and the estimated maintenance would be no more than would be the costs required to keep the existing vehicle operating.   Please correct me if I am wrong about this.  Otherwise the “free” point is materially accurate.

          Your brand of conservatism supports a strong national defense which, quite honestly is nothing but military adventurism under the guise of acting as the world’s police

          Without getting into a nuanced discussion of the problems with this significant over-simplification of my position related to national defense, I have to ask what your preference is related to existing global threats against America, American people and American interests?

          1. Do we just ignore them?

          2. Do we just talk to those groups that have claimed to want to kill us all and keep trying?

          3. Do we let Russia and China just proceed with their imperial expansion through force and threats of force?

          4. Do we just let Islamists kill more of us so they have something to be proud of so they leave the rest of us alone?

          5. Do we encourage more of our allies to expand their military so the US does not have to be the global cop?

          6. Something else?

          Related to the consequences of a weak national defense and weak foreign policy related to global policing… I think the last six years has provided all the proof that we need that it is the absolute wrong thing to do unless we welcome a weaker and declining US with more of our people and friends harmed.

    2. Tia Will

      Frankly

      then walks a nuanced rational line explaining that the MRAP is not “not well adapted to our situation”.

      Robb Davis has answered you very eloquently. I will be much more direct. The above quote could equally well have been attributed to Assistant Chief Pytel at the community conversation forum organized by the police and Robb Davis. I doubt that you would have any difficulty believing that Assistant Chief Pytel is capable of holding two nuanced opinions about the MRAP at the same time, both believing that it is clearly not optimal but a rather a  cost saving alternative and that it is “not well adapted to our situation” at the same time. I fail to see why you would not consider Robb Davis capable of the same complexity of thought.

      1. Frankly

        I was having a conversation with my wife about the fact that a seven bedroom cabin in the woods would be ideal given all the times we have extended friends and family with us.  Unfortunately we only have three bedrooms and a sofa sleeper.  I guess based on your argument I should give away my cabin because it is not adapted to our situation.

        1. Davis Progressive

          that doesn’t seem like a valid analogy.  the cabin is not a solution to the issue of housing people in town, but you may gain other use out of it.  the mrap is not being used for its militarily designed purposes and instead being adapted to work in the urban environment.  the analogy would hold if your solution would be to put the cabin in your front yard as an adu.  but that’s not how your tale goes.

        2. Frankly

          Wow you are stretching so far I fear something might snap.

          Seriously… you have to argue the immobility of my cabin is the reason it is not a valid analogy?

          The point is utility.

           

          My cabin could easily be converted to a store.  In fact many residences in town have been converted to a store or restaurant.  Even though the house was not originally designed as a store or restaurant, it had recognized utility for that.

          Likewise, the MRAP has recognized utility for law enforcement.  The “not-designed for” argument is bogus because it could provide enough utility just like my three-bedroom cabin does.   Neither are perfect in all situations, but since I cannot afford a seven-bedroom cabin, I adapt and utilize what I can afford.   I don’t give it away because it isn’t perfect.

        3. South of Davis

          Frankly wrote:

          > I guess based on your argument I should give away my

          > cabin because it is not adapted to our situation.

          A better analogy would be if you had an old Panther Tank (see link below).  You could either restore  the tank for $3 million or buy a Mossberg 500 at Big 5 in Davis for $300 that would not only be cheaper but “better adapted” for the defense of a West Davis home.

          http://home.comcast.net/~szee1a/Littlefield10/Littlefield10.html

        4. Tia Will

          Frankly

          Another problem with your comment is that the issue of adaptability was not mine. It was a comment of Assistant Chief Pytel. As  you have so frequently pointed out, he as a police officer doubtless has more expertise in what is well adapted to our community for policing than am I and he did not feel it is a good choice for our community per his comments at the forum. Pity that you weren’t there to hear it from him. You and many others speak as though the police are absolutely unified in their positions on this issue. The forum demonstrated that this is not actually the case and that the MRAP was not the panacea that you and others here are portraying it to be.

          When I asked him directly, he stated that one of  the smaller more mobile city/civilian designed vehicles would be better for use in our circumstances. There were about 30 people in attendance who can verify this exchange.

  4. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > although a number of people are planning to go protest the decision

    > at the next Woodland City Council meeting tomorrow night

    Any idea how many of these people are going to drive up from Davis since they are still upset the thing is in the County?

    1. Barack Palin

      Davis agitators often travel to Woodland for their ’causes’.  Take a snapshot of the Woodland meeting and compare it to the MRAP Davis CC meeting video and I pretty sure you’ll see some familiar faces.

  5. DanH

    The photo that appears in this article is the same as shown by Brett Lee at City Council. This is the Lenco Amored Vehicles BearCat Tactical SUV, one of five BearCat models Lenco builds for law enforcement agencies. This vehicle is based on a Ford F-550 commercial truck platform. The BearCat Tactical SUV features a 6.7-liter, 440 hp turbodiesel engine. The vehicle can be serviced at Ford dealers. Approximate cost is $250,000 and Lenco will build one to order in about six months.

     

     

     
    6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 making 440 hp and about 860 lb-ft of get-the-HECK-outta-here torque. – See more at: http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/bearcat-introduces-grenade-stopping-tactical-suv#sthash.mLndCptI.dpuf

    1. PhilColeman

      Since most folks have encased their opinions in “armor-plate,” and are now only looking for validation and reinforcement of their point, this may be a futile gesture. Let’s try anyway, with the possible prospect that it may lead to something to where everybody is happy. And we retire the MRAP controversy into oblivion.

      Ready? Hit your “reset” button, all previous comments by all folks having spoken are deleted and forgiven, and here we go.

      Take that quarter-million dollar figure that seems to have gained at least some degree of political and public support. Approach the Davis Police patrol membership, the folks who are most directly and continuously impacted by the notion of increased officer safety. Ask these folks hypothetically, “If we had a quarter-million bucks to devote entirely to your level of personal safety while on duty, what should we do?”

      Now, police bigots will ignore this point–and that’s fine–but the truth is that these same patrol folks think of their personal safety every work day. And they have a brain, and are creative thinkers, and have some thoughts on this topic. So, maybe, just maybe, we could ask them.

       

       

      1. DanH

        The rank and file of Davis P.D. could provide some useful input but I would rather see equipment requisition managed by the department head and city government. The BearCat Tactical SUV is equipment used by qualified SWAT teams. It is not a patrol vehicle. Davis PD has requested replacement of the existing armored vehicle for several years, without success. This decision should be objectively based upon the need of law enforcement to use such a vehicle safely and effectively in the performance of their duty. Agreed, a lot of world-view political baggage should not be part of the discussion. Does Davis PD need an armored vehicle, or not?

  6. Tia Will

    Phil

    I think this is a splendid idea, as long as the field for possible ideas is wide open and would include items other than just equipment.  I am of course thinking in terms of  considering primary as well as secondary or tertiary protection. Fair enough ?

  7. Anon

    To Phil Coleman: Hallelujah, an idea that makes sense.  It is the police who should be assessing what type of equipment they need.  After all, they are the ones putting their lives on the line.  However, the police did tell the community what they wanted, the MRAP, and the City Council said “no”.  Now we have to throw $250,000 the city does not have, at the problem of officer safety when facing high-powered weapons.  I am finding it very difficult (and I am sure I am not alone) getting past the notion that taxpayers have to pay big bucks for the city to be politically correct in addressing the officer safety issue, while being asked to pony up for a parcel tax and the sales tax increase.  It is particularly galling.  Sorry, just had to vent.  This happens over and over again, where the city finds the most expensive way to do things, and will be a primary reason a parcel tax may not pass.

    Robb Davis: “I am shocked that you, a consistent conservative who is suspicious of the overreach of the federal government would defend a program that permits its reach deeply into every jurisdiction in the region, bringing hardware designed for the battlefield into each of our communities.”

    Shall the police be denied the use of high-powered weapons or Kevlar vests because they too are used on the battlefield?  Though doth protest too much methinks.

    By the way, I get the “white screen of death” after making a comment too.

    1. PhilColeman

      “However, the police did tell the community what they wanted . . .”

      Going back to my original premise of asking the line patrol officers directly, how confident are you that these same patrol officers were ever previously polled regarding the relative merits of a MRAP, compared to other officer-safety measures available?

      Maybe I missed it, but can’t recall any DPD comment to the effect, “The MRAP is what our line officers agree on primary safety need for them all.”

      1. Frankly

        The question is are line officers going to opine on the big picture, or more so on what might benefit them personally?

        If I asked my employees they might say to increase their pay and hire more employees and that would increase productivity.

        And not all officers are SWAT team members, so some might just not be motivated to see the PD get an MRAP because they would never be in a position to be part of its use.

        I don’t have a problem with the police doing some bottom-up input into the decision, but frankly (because I am) asking rank-and-file employees to make these types of decision can be a little bit of allowing the inmates to run the asylum.  They need to be represented in decision making, but not given the keys to take it over.

    2. Robb Davis

      Anon wrote:

      Shall the police be denied the use of high-powered weapons or Kevlar vests because they too are used on the battlefield?  Though doth protest too much methinks.

      This was NOT my argument at all.  You have developed a pattern of taking a portion of my words–whether written here or stated in CC meetings and–and using them to set up a straw man which you attack as being my position.  Nowhere have I written that material used on a battlefield should not be used in policing.  I have made these comments in relation to a costly (not free as you and others wrongly repeat sans cesse), vehicle that has no place in our city.  You willfully ignore the context of my words to make your point.

      I know by now that you and others such as Frankly, TrueBlueDevil and theotherside are quite upset at me for the decision I made in this case.  I have taken the time several times over to state the full range of factors that led to my decision.  But because the process of my decision does not fit the narrative you seem to prefer–an irrational decision made in response to a noisy minority demanding the CC get rid of the MRAP–you attack slivers of my argument ad infinitum.  You even went so far as to suggest I was demeaning military personnel when, in fact, I was pointing out how poorly we, as a nation have supported them.

      Why don’t you lay out what I suspect is under all of this: you and Frankly and the others believe that I am putting our police at risk.  You believe that I am failing to protect public safety.  You believe that I am failing in my duty to provide the resources necessary create a safe community in Davis.  I would prefer you just come out and say it because clearly nothing I have said has convinced you that I made this decision based on what I felt and still feel was best for the community.

      1. theotherside

        Robb wrote “I know by now that you and others such as Frankly, TrueBlueDevil and theotherside are quite upset at me for the decision I made in this case.”

        I am not upset with, don’t even know you.  I am just here to present the other side, point out flawed reasoning, while trying to inject some common sense.  I do not take any of this personally, and encourage the same of others.

      2. Frankly

        Frankly and the others believe that I am putting our police at risk.

        Even two brilliant people can disagree.  So one brilliant person (you) and one lower IQ person (me) are certainly going to disagree at times.

        I would reframe this statement to say that I think that, with your decision to return the MRAP, you failed to take advantage of an opportunity which provided some increased safety utility for our police and for residents.  You acknowledged the risk of harm that the MRAP would mitigate as being infinitesimal.  I see it as being greater than that, but will admit that it is likely small.

        I would prefer that we side on the side of police safety when the main counter argument is sensitivity over military symbolism.

        But with high costs, I would have voted to return it because of the low probability of needed utility.

        I just don’t think it is wise or just or useful to give any weight to people’s sensitivity over military symbolism.  That is an irrational response given that boots, guns, bullets, bullet-proof vests, etc… are all things used by the military. It is the including of symbolism into the decision criteria that makes me “upset” to use your word.

        1. Robb Davis

          Okay, realize I am getting a bit testy about all of this.  You brought me back to earth (you had me at “brilliant” — Hah!).  Anyway, I know decisions like this are not easy and, can I be frank, never even thought about needing to make this kind of decision when I ran for office.  Oh well, it is never exactly clear what we are signing up for.  Having said that, I find the debate over this to be important because it forces us to confront unpleasant but critical issues in our community.  Thanks for your patience “your frankness.”  Mean it sincerely.

      3. Alan Miller

        Robb:   You are putting our police at risk.  You are failing to protect public safety.  You are failing in your duty to provide the resources necessary create a safe community in Davis.  Clearly nothing you say will convince me that you made this decision based on what you felt and still feel was best for the community.

        There I said it.  Not that I believe a word of any of what I just said.  Who were you talking to?

      4. Alan Miller

        Thaaaaaanks Woodland!   Thanks to you we get to hear the same arguments made by the same people in the same detail, all over again.  Where were you, Yuba City?

    3. Tia Will

      Anon

      I think that you are missing a really key point here. The MRAP was not the police’s first choice here as Assistant Chief Pytel made clear at the community forum that you missed. At this forum it was made clear that the police themselves would not have chosen this particular vehicle which they realized was not initially felt suitable for our community. It was only because they felt that the community would not be willing to pay for the optimal vehicle that they chose this, essentially feeling that it was better than nothing even with its proven disadvantages even in the setting for which it was designed.

      So, if you can rant, I guess I can too. From my point of view the knowledge that they would not get necessary funding from the community,because people are too tight to pay for what is needed, while stating they want the police to have what they need to be safe ( unless of course it is going to cost money) was a what was really behind this acquisition. It was quite illustrative to hear how each year they were expected to bring forth a list of proposed cut backs for consideration. So much for the wonderful support from the caring community.

      So in view of Phil Coleman’s very reasonable suggestion, how about asking all of the police who work the streets ( not just Swat) what equipment and/or services, or training would make them the safest. Not mind you just “feel the safest” but actually be safer, and then work collaboratively to make those things happen.

  8. Michelle Millet

    The arrest of the husband happened in front of Birch Lane Elementary during dismissal the Friday before Thanksgiving break.

    http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/crime-fire-courts/couple-arrested-on-drug-firearm-possession-charges/
    A Davis couple face multiple felony charges after police reportedly found drugs and firearms in the home they shared with four children.
    Officers reported finding loaded weapons as well as methamphetamine inside the residences. Both suspects were lodged at the Yolo County Jail on charges including drug and firearm possession as well as child endangerment.
     

     

     

        1. South of Davis

          DP wrote:

          > what relevance is that story?”

          If we had a MRAP at every Davis School the teachers could shoot at meth head parents with AR 15s from the turrets before they were able to get their guns at home to fire back…

        2. South of Davis

          DP wrote:

          > i laughed

          I’m glad you though I was trying to be funny (not saying we should be proactive and kill meth head parents that “might” hurt someone the way neocons are proactive and send US troops to kill goat herders in the middle east that they think “might” hurt someone)…

          P.S. I bet Davis would make the national news if we tried to send the MRAP to Afghanistan so Muslim parents could use it to protect their kids when the US drones flew in to their villages…

  9. Miwok

    Frankly and Mr Davis had a good conversation, I appreciate that. But the absence of the MRAP, and not making it available to their partners in anti-crime, lead me to believe they will also purge the department of Military aspects including SWAT?

    Mr Davis tells us not to pick a sentence out of context, and the first long answer leads me to believe he wants no appearances of SWAT and Military accoutrements in Davis. Does that include the personnel? IF some officers have any military experience or was in the service, regardless of what that service was, are they now under threat to lose their jobs?

    That is the impression I get from all this. It is also telling that he speaks for so many people who would willingly put LEOs in danger. IF someone had weapons, I saw AR-15s mentioned, so let’s go with that, the range on those aimed carelessly is over a mile. Will the Davis PD now back off or clear blocks of people out while they wait and contain?

    I hope Woodland PD paints it red and white and puts Santa in the turret for parades.

  10. Anon

    A city has to live within its budget.  IMO the police tried to do just that – live within their budget, but the City Council was having none of it, and instead will go the more expensive route, or else leave our officers unprotected.  There is no way to put lipstick on this pig.

  11. Robb Davis

    Miwok:

    Mr Davis tells us not to pick a sentence out of context, and the first long answer leads me to believe he wants no appearances of SWAT and Military accoutrements in Davis. Does that include the personnel? IF some officers have any military experience or was in the service, regardless of what that service was, are they now under threat to lose their jobs?

    Please enlighten me where I suggested this.  From what exactly do you infer this?  Please use a direct quote so I can clarify that this is NOT my position.  If I misled you I will make it right but I must know from where, precisely, you draw this inference.

    1. Anon

      Robb Davis: “Your brand of conservatism supports a strong national defense which, quite honestly is nothing but military adventurism under the guise of acting as the world’s police.”

      This paragraph is what made some of us think you don’t approve of anything that remotely smacks of military in the police force.

    2. Miwok

      Anon touched on a good answer, but I will elaborate where my response was going.

      By nearly any assessment (including pure frequentist or Bayesian probabilistic analyses) the cumulative probability of needing an MRAP is extremely small.

      Mr Davis, your statements about the MRAP and other guns and other equipment that make Davis PD look like SWAT on any given day give me pause, and maybe you too. My impression of what you were saying was that your ultimate goal was to get the appearance of the military out of Davis PD? This also included people who espouse that view, which to me meant anyone who had been in the military.

      The multi-year process of getting the MRAP was because the City did not have a plan or a clue to fund a replacement second or third hand vehicle, and something fairly new and functional at less cost to the city has been discounted as a poor choice by the City once it got here. Now if they get armor or other personal items like vests, will those also be denied?I agree with your statement Anon quoted, because I don’t think the military should be used for any “Police Action”.

  12. Tia Will

    Anon

    There is no way to put lipstick on this pig.”

    If “living within their budget means that they have to deal with inferior equipment, then i think that what is needed is to re evaluate their budget so that they can have what they truly need. I don’t think that there is any way to “put lipstick on the pig” of giving lip service to support of the police while not being willing to finance optimal equipment for them.

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