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.