St. Cloud police defend military grade supplies

St. Cloud police defend military grade supplies Click to Enlarge Photo:

Aug 19, 2014 at 9:58 am

ST CLOUD, Minn. (AP) -- A debate about the militarization of Minnesota police forces has been renewed in light of the Michael Brown shooting.

The St. Cloud Times reports that many critics have questioned the need for a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle in St. Cloud. The military grade vehicle, known as an MRAP (em-rap), has been used in standoffs and high-risk searches since it was unveiled 10 months ago.

Police Chief Blair Anderson says the presence of the MRAP doesn't mean the department is loading up on military surplus. He says some equipment is given by the federal government for little or no cost.

Anderson says it's necessary for local law enforcement to prepare for skirmishes with criminals armed with high-powered weapons.

Six other agencies in Minnesota got MRAPs last year.

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