San Diego School Police To Return 18-Ton Military Vehicle
Friday, September 19, 2014
Photo by San Diego Unified School District
San Diego's school district plans to return a military surplus vehicle obtained by its police department after negative reaction.
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten said in a statement Thursday night that some members of the community are uncomfortable with the armored personnel carrier and that makes school officials uncomfortable. KPBS media partner inewsource first reported the school district's acquisition of the vehicle on Sept. 9.
From the statement:
"Some members of our community are not comfortable with the district having this vehicle," said Superintendent Cindy Marten. "If any part of our community is not comfortable with it, we cannot be comfortable with it."
"The safety and security of our students and schools is a top priority and we need to balance this priority with what the community's perceptions are on how we best serve and protect. This provides us an important opportunity to have a greater dialogue with our community about what is really a common goal — providing our students a world-class education and the academic, social and physical environments they deserve."
The district is one of many around the country that received an MRAP — short for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle — or other military equipment through the Department of Defense Excess Property Program.
The school district said it intended to use it as a rescue vehicle in the event of a campus shooting or similar emergency.
The district intended to put a red cross on it to make the six-wheel, 18-ton vehicle appear less menacing.
But in the Thursday's statement Marten said after considering public sentiment it was best to return the vehicle.
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