The Sarasota Police Department (SPD) is the proud new owner of two military humvees. The armored vehicles, bought at a low price from a government surplus program, will be used for search and rescue missions.
The former U.S. military vehicles were revealed on Oct. 3, freshly painted navy blue with an SPD decal. Although comparable vehicles can cost upwards of $100,000, SPD bought these for less than $6,000, including the new coat of paint.
The increased militarization of law enforcement was a hot topic in the aftermath of a number of killings by police officers, most notably, the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.
Todd Kerkering, Sarasota’s emergency manager, told the Herald Tribune that unless there is a major event or disaster, citizens would not see these vehicles on the streets. SPD wanted to be equipped with heavy-duty, high-power vehicles in case of a natural disaster or situation where a rescue mission must be deployed.
However, they may also be employed in the case of an active shooter or terrorist threat.
The humvees can drive in five feet of water and withstand high wind speeds and bullets. If a tire goes flat, the vehicle can still travel thirty miles.