Mohave County Sheriff explains purchase of mine resistant armored patrol vehicle

Mine resistant armored patrol vehicle acquired by the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, Mohave County, Arizona, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, St. George News

MOHAVE COUNTY, Arizona — Recurring inquiries to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona concerning equipment it obtained through the Military 1033 program – particularly an armored vehicle known as a mine-resistant, armored-protective vehicle, or MRAP, has prompted a response from the county’s Sheriff Jim McCabe released to media in a letter Wednesday.

The purpose of the equipment obtained through the Military 1033 program is to obtain property that can and/or may be used by the Sheriff’s Office to fulfill its constitutional and statutory duties, the letter said.

According to the Defense Logistics Agency, disposition services Web page, the Military 1033 program was created under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991. Under that Act, Congress authorized the transfer of excess DOD personal property to federal and state agencies for use in counter-drug activities.  Congress later passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997; this act allows all law enforcement agencies to acquire property for bona fide law enforcement purposes that assist in their arrest and apprehension mission. Preference is given to counter-drug and counter-terrorism requests.

Photo of the mine resistant armored patrol vehicle by the Mojave County Sheriff's Office, Mojave County, undated | Photo courtesy of the Mojave County Sheriff's Office, St. George News
Mine resistant armored patrol vehicle acquired by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, Mohave County, Arizona, date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Many items would never be obtainable given their costs without the Military 1033 program as Mohave County, like other counties, has limited resources to acquire public safety equipment, the sheriff’s letter said.

“Many of the items that are obtained have to be adapted to MCSO’s purposes,” McCabe wrote. “It is possible that some of the items may never be utilized by the MCSO and I will not utilize the equipment for military purposes.”

All items obtained through the Military 1033 program, by the MCSO, were obtained with the protection of lives and property, within Mohave County, in mind, the Sheriff wrote, similar to purchases for other law enforcement equipment.

“There are some who will never be satisfied with any response the MCSO can give regarding equipment obtained through the Military 1033 program and they are certainly entitled to their opinion,” McCabe said in his letter. “However, as Sheriff of Mohave County, I stand by my record and the record of the MCSO in fulfilling my constitutional and statutory duties under Arizona law and our proven record of protecting the lives and property of Mohave County residents to the best of our ability with the resources available to us. Any suggestion that the MCSO has or will misuse any Military 1033 program equipment, simply because of the equipment’s origin, is unfounded and baseless.”

The cost of maintenance and upkeep are concerns for all equipment of the MCSO, regardless of whether it came from the Military 1033 program or not and such costs are and were considered, the letter said.

As to the MRAP, McCabe wrote, he anticipates the vehicle may be used for rescue and other life-saving operations including extracting victims and/or wounded officers in active-shooter situations that unfortunately can occur at schools, the workplace, and other public gatherings. The MRAP may also be useful in standoff situations or even rescues in natural disasters.

One does not have to look too deep to know that Mohave County, Arizona, has its share of standoff/barricade situations and also natural disasters like flash flooding, the sheriff said in his letter.

“Additionally and unfortunately one does not have to search too far back to know that school and workplace shooting violence can occur in very remote and unsuspecting communities.”

Photos of the MRAP, an inventory list that includes all the equipment valuable or sensitive enough to require annual inventory and reporting to the Department of Defense, and a copy of the form outlining the use of said equipment are provided by the MCSO, and included in this report.

See the inventory here:  Inventory

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  • Doug Bringhurst December 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Good for them maybe someday it will be used to save my butt when one of these crazy people start shooting stuff up at the movie theater. Like whats reported threatened by terrorist in the news right now. The police will be there long before the military can be deployed and by then its too late. So before you jump to why do they need that ask yourself will you ever go to a movie theater, school or walmart and hope someone is able to save your butt. The police will come and need to be protected too.

    • My Evil Twin December 17, 2014 at 11:47 am

      I’m more inclined to think that this was purchased with one use in mind. SHORT CREEK!

      • Robo Duck December 17, 2014 at 11:46 pm

        Really.? Shelly is right you definitely need to get out of your mothers basement

      • Atom Ant December 18, 2014 at 3:46 am

        Really ha ha ha ha. LOL. Turn off the T V go out side and get some air. LOL

    • Bender December 17, 2014 at 11:59 am

      Doug, if you are not fully satisfied with the violence/revenge fantasies you cook up in your own head, I highly recommend the Death Wish movie franchise starring Charles “so let it be written, so let it be done” Bronson.
      Bender Movie Trivia: Freak #1 in Death Wish was Jeff Goldblum’s first movie role.

      • Mark Vinclio December 19, 2014 at 5:54 pm

        Watch the news read the paper bender its not fantasies its happening

    • Wilbur December 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      useless taxicab is all it is – usually trouble is on the inside of some building, so the oinks gotta go outside to party, except for some stupid swivel head on top pretending he’s behind a ma duce.

      waste of money, unless you call “intimidation” important.

    • mo ferguson December 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      First and foremost, always keep in mind that it is NOT the duty of the police to protect you. That sole responsibility rest entirely on YOUR shoulders. You are your own security, you are your own “first responder”. Prepare and train for it. Unfortunately, the police will come after the “crisis” to take a report.
      IT IS, however, the first duty of the police to protect themselves FIRST, ALWAYS! That is primarily the purpose of obtaining this type of equipment, for their own protection FIRST. As BENDER accurately describes, the MRAP is NOT a complete success. As any Iraq or Afghanistan veteran will tell you, MRAPs ARE defeatable. Any experienced recent vet can tell you exactly how easy and simple it is to stop an MRAP, in it’s tracks. Unfortunately, as BENDER states below, the maintenance costs will exceed department budgets and sadly, many MRAPs will sit rotting away.

    • saveyourown... December 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      You better not count on it. Look at who they call terrorist now days!
      Ed. ellipsis

    • koolaid December 18, 2014 at 7:25 am

      Dance Buster Assault Vehicle

      • Roy J December 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm

        Action Figure Storage Truck

  • Bender December 17, 2014 at 11:39 am

    The maintenance on the MRAP will be a burden on the department which will negate any possible usefulness this beast might bring. The MRAP development program was rushed and the design was not fully cooked before it was rushed into production. This white elephant will soon have something break after which it will be parked and molder in the desert sun.

  • Joe Smith December 17, 2014 at 11:55 am

    They should have just ordered a tank or an apache helicopter. Would have been more fun than that big slow hunk of junk

  • Free thinker December 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Sieg heil!

    • Native born New Mexican December 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      That’s my thought also. More militarized police! Mohave county is already scary and corrupt enough as it is.

    • Dave December 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      “Standing army” anyone?

  • My Evil Twin December 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    What really bothers me about all of this military to local law enforcement gear is simple. Administrators and command officers want to have as much “stuff” as they can. And if they can get a “good deal” on it, then they will go after it, whether needed or not.
    And then you have the mentality that “if we have it, we have to find an excuse to use it.”
    Sure, there are times that a whole lot of equipment will come in handy. The question is, how often? And the other question is, WILL IT BE USABLE WHEN NEEDED? You can have all the far out toys in the world, but if you don’t have the budget to keep them maintained and ready to go, they are virtually useless. (Just like ZonkerB is.)
    Agencies have limited budgets. When those budgets are foolishly expended on obtaining and maintaining high dollar specialized equipment, that may only be used once a decade or so, then it is NOT a good investment. These little rural departments do not have the budget, the expertise, NOR THE NEED for an awful lot of this stuff. Sure, a city such as LA, or Phoenix, or some of the other big ones, have the budget to fund it, the personnel to maintain it, and the need for it much more often.
    It seems to me, like these small, rural departments would be better off to pool their resources, and come up with some type of an “equipment pool,” where all the departments chip in for the equipment, chip in to maintain it, chip in to train on it, and share the use of it. Sure there are vast distances to cover in some of these rural counties. But it is what it is.
    Training is another big thing with specialized equipment. If you have it, and you use it, you not only have to train with it, but you have to pay a “specialist” to “certify” that you have trained with it. Otherwise, when somebody is killed or hurt, (good guy, bad guy, or innocent bystander,) the civil suits are going to bankrupt the agency.
    There is an awful lot of situations that can be very well resolved by line officers who have trained together and work together. Unfortunately, when departments start having all this “specialized equipment,” the brass mandates that the line officers hold back and wait for the “specialists” to show up.
    The recent mess in St. George off of Blvd is a perfect example of this.

    • Robo Duck December 17, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      Wow you almost made an intelligent comment there is hope for you after all

    • Atom Ant December 18, 2014 at 3:38 am

      Wow you almost made an intelligent comment….. Get er done

  • Koolaid December 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Are the Bundy supporters planting mines along with their armed checkpoints and gun nests? How soon before they kill more cops or possibly bomb some building (aka Oklahoma City) and kill innocent people just because they hates the gubment?

    • that guy December 17, 2014 at 11:49 pm

      @ Koolaid just when did they kill any cops? Your delusions seem to be getting wilder day by day. Are you off your meds?

      • koolaid December 18, 2014 at 7:23 am

        Two bundy supporters killed police in Las Vegas.

    • Robo Duck December 17, 2014 at 11:59 pm

      LOL. Hey KOOLAID were having a Bundy Bunch fundraiser we would like for you to donate to the cause and get you free… I CAME TO SEE CLIVEN BUNDY AND All I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T SHIRT…. We be needin all the heps we cun be a gettin…… LOL

    • Atom Ant December 18, 2014 at 3:41 am

      Hey KOOLAID were having a Bundy Bunch fundraiser we would like for you to donate to the cause and get your free I CAME TO SEE CLIVEN BUNDY AND All I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T SHIRT.. LOL we be needin all the heps we cun be a gettin

  • Joe Smith December 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    It’s my understanding that law enforcement departments basically just get this war equipment for free. I think what they pay is the cost of having it transported to them, but not 100% sure. Pretty good deal for them considering the tax payers probably paid in excess of 10 million for the thing, but Incredibly useless piece of machinery though, unless you’ve got muslims planting IEDs along your roads. Much too heavy, inefficient and impractical to be used for anything but war. Maybe they plan on inviting the taliban over there so they can use it as it was intended…

  • Richard Bowen December 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    First of St. George news is some of the worst journalism to ever hit the world. The information is OK. But the writers should keep their opinions out of it. And this does violate Posse Comitatus you people are being fooled and ruining the rewards you have reaped from this country without putting anything back into it yourselves. No no you are letting all of the corporations and the PRIVATE federal reserve do all the work. You all deserve for your children to hate you. You are creating the revelations not listening to the warning. Utah itself has become a sellout filled with masons playing the minds of the sate through religion. You allowed the NSA, you are making your incarceration an industry, you impose your will on others freedom of choice through your state legislation. And worst of all, you keep your people ignorant. You turn your people on one another to a point of disgust. Your cops are murdering people with only getting fired. And your people think everything is OK. You will put your own people in camps and kill them to make a quick buck. But that’s what god intended huh? You have become what you deserve. Put yourselves on a pedistle and when your time comes, no one will care about you either. You sick people worship Saturn!!! The estoric symbols are all over temple square. And you took part in pushing war with Russia with egos ten times bigger than your brains. By the way I’m someone who lost everything I had to you people. Funny thing is… Most of you won’t even know what I’m talking about.

    • Chris December 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I know I don’t.

    • Joe Smith December 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      are you a disgruntled former member that paid more in than 10%? I hope your not going to do anything loony, because you sound like a loose cannon…

    • ladybugavenger December 18, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Do you know what your talking about? No comprende

    • Koolaid December 19, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Huh? nuqDaq ‘oH puchpa”e’?

  • Burton December 17, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Do your research. The program with these vehicles is a lease program to municipalities for approximately $15,000 total for the lease. Which is a long term agreement. I mean decades agreement. So for these agencies to be able to have even one armored vehicle is a big deal to the agencies. They are worth nearly $400,000, and they can acquire one for less than the price of one new police car. And as much as they will be using them the maintenance costs will be very low. They will look a lot more reasonable when they are used to save your butt, or mine.

    That’s is until the B.L.M gets them. The “bullies of land management”. The federal agencies don’t seem to be quite on our side.

    • Joe Smith December 17, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Just think though, Obamas already got loads of them, and he’s going to use them when the time comes to take everyone’s guns!

  • Joe Smith December 17, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Maybe stg animal control could buy one. They could use it to gather up stray cats and dogs in that big cargo area, maybe even a grizzly bear or two. Or they could drive one around town to try and scare people from dancing.

  • Koolaid December 17, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    St George police needs one of these vehicles for raiding those illegal dance parties and to protect themselves from dangerous dancers. Would be great addition for parades, too, along with their SWAT vehicle.

  • Me December 17, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    To paraphrase the classic pub song:

    We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do
    We’ve got the tanks, we’ve got the men, it’s just what we do.

  • myst December 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    looks like they are getting ready to evict.

  • Joe Smith December 19, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    and if they run out of useful things to do with the truck they can always use it for a new garbage truck, or an even better idea, they could could put all the guns in it and drive it out into the desert and burry it. I don’t think Obama will ever find them guns that way…

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