Citizens in the Tri-County Metro area are concerned with a move by the Fire Department to militarize. The issue stems from the FD taking possession of an armored MRAP vehicle.Originally the Armored Mine Resistant Personnel carrier was slated to go to the Metro Police. Citizens protested the need for such a vehicle. At the same time Metro Fire was looking to replace their Heavy Rescue truck.
“When the citizens said they did not want the PD to get this, we figured we could take it” Said Chief Gilbert. “A new heavy rescue could cost close to a million. Retrofitting an MRAP would only be a few thousand. To us it seemed OK… but I guess the people see it different.”
Metro citizens say seeing a so called tank coming to their aid will strike fear.
“If I get into a car crash I don’t want some armored vehicle rolling up to save me. How will I know if they are coming out with the Jaws-Of-Life or if they will have M-16 Assault Rifles?” Said one citizen.
For now the FD will be using the MRAP. Elected officials have pledged to write policy so the citizens are ensured the militarized firefighters will not be attacking the population with this new toy.