Vermont State Police acquire military surplus tactical support vehicle

News Release — Vermont State Police
Feb. 19, 2014

Stephanie Dasaro
Vermont State Police
Public Information Officer
[email protected]
802-241-5277 (desk)
802-279-9773 (cell)

Waterbury, VT – 2/19/14 – The Vermont State Police (VSP) is one of over 160 law enforcement agencies across the nation that recently acquired an armored tactical vehicle through the Defense Department’s national military surplus program. The vehicle is being made available to VSP through coordination with the Military’s Law Enforcement Support Office; which offers law enforcement agencies across the country military equipment that is no longer in use that can have a positive impact on civilian law enforcement operations. This particular vehicle is a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle; that can provide lifesaving support to local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies across the state during armed confrontations or other critical incidents.

“It’s a platform that will help troopers get close to and help defuse a dangerous situation without exposing them to life-threatening danger,” said Colonel Tom L’Esperance. “It’s a great piece of equipment, however we hope we never need it.”

On learning about the new tactical vehicle Representative Donna Sweaney said, “It is imperative that Vermont is prepared for every type of crisis and we look forward to housing it at Windsor Armory. Having a tactical vehicle in the southern part of Vermont will help ensure a rapid response to critical incidents.”

The VSP join the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department, the Richmond Police Department, the Manchester Police Department, along with other Vermont law enforcement agencies, in being recipients of this program. Each requesting agency must submit a justification letter as to the equipment’s specific intended use. Colonel L’Esperance submitted the request for the MRAP and received the vehicle in mid-December. The cost to the VSP includes the initial transportation of the vehicle from Mississippi, which was under $8000; along with the cost of necessary customization such as, lights, painting; and vehicle maintenance.

The MRAP vehicle obtained by the Vermont State Police is similar to the Bearcat tactical vehicle obtained in November 2011; which is housed at the Williston Barracks. The MRAP is not yet operational; pending the completion of customization and maintenance.

Press Release

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  • Barry Kade

    I’ll bet that justification letter would be interesting reading. Will Digger be putting in a PRA request, or must I?

  • The militarization of police is a national trend. Even police departments at universities are getting military equipment. A post in December on reported Ohio State University campus police had acquired what appears to be exactly the same vehicle as Vermont State Police have just gotten.

  • Great addition — considering the severe land-mine and IED problem we have here in VT.

  • Frank Davis

    I just don’t get the hostile comments. This equipment is cheap at the price. I actually do want my neighbors, and police officers are my neighbors, as protected as possible if they have to engage a potentially explosive meth lab, or some nut job just seeing if he can make pipe bombs, because the internet gives instructions. I’ll bet that these people have no objection to protective vests for K-9 officers at any price.

  • Let’s think about this for a moment, we are selling perfectly functional war machines to Police with the help of the Defense Department. The Defense Department is run by the DHS. The DHS just purchased nearly 2 billion (that’s billion with a B) rounds of hollow point ammunition, over 7 thousands of these MRAPs. thousands of automatic military style weapons, thousands of rounds of sniper style (308) ammunition and enough body armor to shield an army. A national army on our own soil, for what?

    In 2008 Barak Obama said, ” we need a national army just as strong as our Military”. Since that statement we have seen the militarization of the police across our country. Since 2008 there have been more people killed by police in the US than in the middle east on a yearly basis. We see it in the news frequently and it is getting worse. Police are becoming much more aggressive toward the citizens. Road blocks, check points, no knock raids on homes, NSA spying, IRS harassment of conservatives, the purge of military Generals, nuclear weapons that were shipped from Texas to South Carolina then disappeared (Linsey Graham made a statement about the possibility of the east coast getting nuked if we did not go into Syria at the same time these weapons became lost) and last but not least there are all the violations of the Constitution that BO has committed since his term in office and the constant drum beat to disarm American citizens. Something is not adding up here. I doubt we are preparing for an invasion from foreign troops.

    I have only one question for the Vermont Public Safety Board, “would you order the police to fire on the citizens of Vermont for practicing their Constitutional rights”?

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