Local cops in Salinas, Calif., are stoked about their new toy: a military-style armored car.
Some Salinas citizens, however, are worried it will make the police department more warlike.
The vehicle — which was used in military training exercises — weighs 37,000 pounds and costs $650,000, according to The Daily Mail.
Salinas received it for free, however, thanks to a government program that allows local police departments to take ownership of de-commissioned military vehicles. It will be put to use in SWAT team operations.
The department’s last vehicle was outdated and in deplorable condition. It provided little cover for cops, and was vulnerable to gunfire.
The new armored car, on the other hand, will easily withstand fire from handguns. And rifles. And rocket-propelled grenades.
“It provides a high capability of protection for our officers and the community,” said Police Chief Kelly McMillin in a statement.
Many citizens didn’t see in that way, and posted comments on the department’s Facebook page warning that the car is frightening and unnecessary.
“I am very concerned about the militarization of our police force,” wrote one commenter. “One look at this picture and I see a military tactical assault vehicle with four Swat team members attired in military style uniforms.”
The police department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.