Armored car joins sheriff's force

Randall County, Texas, is where I live. It is a nice place, full of nice folks. It has its share of soreheads and criminals, but it’s not a place thought to be a haven for violence.

And yet …

The county sheriff’s department has just purchased — are you ready? — an armored car.

It’s one of those beastly vehicles associated, say, with battlefields. You know, places where enemy soldiers fire big-time ordnance at each other.

Sheriff Joel Richardson, a good guy and one of the top cops in Texas, has purchased a Lenco BearCat. The armored car is designed for ultimate protection and defense.

I’ll hand it to Richardson, though, for recognizing the public relations hurdle his department must clear.

According to NewsChannel 10: “Richardson’s biggest concern is making sure the public realizes the department is not trying to militarize law enforcement.”

“This is a vehicle not intended for aggression, this is a vehicle that is intended to make our community safer and to save lives,” said the sheriff.

Interesting, don’t you think?

The police in Ferguson, Mo., deployed some pretty heavy equipment when citizens there rioted after a young black man was shot to death by a white police officer. Critics then called Ferguson’s response a bit overheated.

Indeed, little ol’ Randall County’s crime issues seem tepid compared to what the cops in Ferguson faced.

If the armored car is intended to “make our community safer,” as Sheriff Richardson insists, then he’d be wise to keep it under wraps until all hell breaks loose. I’ve lived here slightly more than 20 years and have yet to see anything close to that happening.


2 thoughts on “Armored car joins sheriff's force”

  1. The militarization of our police has been going on for a while now. It has become accepted as a necessity by the majority of people.

    Not this person.

    What ever happened to the phrase “peace officer”? It seems to have gradually morphed into “law enforcement”. The accompanying mindset is alarming to me. I myself cannot see a really good reason to justify the outlay for such a vehicle.

    It reminds me of an incident in Dumas. The fire department purchased an expensive vehicle to fight fires at elevations. It was unveiled with great hoopla and applause. But no one seemed to remember that there is only one building taller than 2 stories in town and that would be the court house.

    So to justify this acquisition, and to increase visibility, it was utilized for every fire. Not only fires, but it was sent out on medical emergencies. This was so that if a fire occurred during Granny’s heart attack, the fire fighters would be ready.

    Maximum preparedness.

    Well that was until a fire happened next to the fire department. It was a small house occupied by a waitress I knew. There was some problems utilizing the new equipment on this small, one-story structure and as a result it burned to the ground.

    Right next door to the fire station.

    Needless to say, there were some people embarrassed by this outcome. There were some belated questions raised concerning the new equipment. This equipment is still owned by the fire department, but it is rarely used for anything but training.

    Kinda makes one wonder about the expense of purchasing a Lenco BearCat for the hot bed of criminality located in Randall county. I don’t think anything will burn up, but I expect that this new “asset” will only be used for training.

    At least I hope so.

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