Malgus, I agree with you 100%. This is disturbing on so many different levels.
I looked up the “toys” my county acquired and wanted to throw up. Our taxes are completely insane here, and they can justify accepting almost 70 pages worth of “freebies” they have absolutely NO need for? Meanwhile, Detroit officers (who I’m not a huge fan of, but that’s a thread for a different time) are so underfunded that they have to buy their own equipment. There is probably a reason for the Detroit withholding: until they’re free of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s legacy of looting and plundering all that the bankrupt city has to offer, they couldn’t be trusted in the past to keep any accurate records. It’s improving under the new leadership, but how much so remains to be seen.
This statement: “Local agencies must return items they don’t use” was terrifying. Most officers I know like their toys, and that probably goes double when they are free. I can’t imagine some of the “uses” they will think of to keep the items on this list.
You are absolutely correct on the MRAP justification: it’s complete bullshit. For anyone not familiar with the flooding here in Michigan last week, there was a record amount of rainfall in a 12-hour span. The peak of the rain hit at the worst possible time of the day: 5pm, when gridlock rush hour traffic piles up on the major expressways (and it was INTENSE – I couldn’t see squat for the entire ride home and mainly used The Force to drive). Most of the EastSide of Southeast Michigan was heavily flooded and the city referenced in the article, Warren, was one of the hardest hit. Sewer systems were unable to handle the torrential downpours (and several pumping stations failed) which flooded everything incredibly fast. People who had been living in their homes for over 50 years and had never even had a damp basement before suddenly had 3+ feet of raw sewage to deal with.
On the expressways, underpasses below the water table were quickly flooded. 12-14 feet of water in some extreme cases, but almost everyone had at least 4-6 inches to drive through when it was at peak. People who were smart (and there were a LOT of dumbasses who thought they could forge the flooded areas and ended up losing their cars) got off the expressways to wherever they thought was safe. Our favorite Eastside pizza place is in Warren off the expressway, and this article shows how many people were not only already THERE, but how they were taken to the Lowe’s referenced in the article. They want to say that one MRAP rescued all of those people from the Lowes? Mother please: