Thursday, January 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Scrap the MRAP, council says, but wants a talk with cops

ArmoredVehicleW

The Davis Police Department recently unveiled its newly acquired military surplus vehicle, the MRAP, which it planned to use during certain SWAT team situations. City leaders want to send it back. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | August 27, 2014 |

The Davis City Council voted 3-1-1 Tuesday night to essentially find a way to get rid of a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle donated to the Police Department by the military.

Councilman Brett Lee voted against the idea and Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson abstained.

Pictures of the heavily armored vehicle incensed a large part of the community, and drew calls that it was a “tank.” Swanson said she got messages from people who were concerned that the tank treads would ruin local roads, but in reality the vehicle is borne on bullet-resistant tires instead.

Indeed, the public comment period drew a long line, with more than 20 speakers opposed to the MRAP, the acronym for the vehicle, and only two people in support.

Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis laid out the successful three-part motion to have staff come back within 60 days to provide options for the council get rid of the vehicle, establish city manager and City Council oversight of major military surplus acquisitions and look at alternatives to using armored vehicles in situations where officers and civilians come under fire.

Lee added a friendly amendment to have the council meet with police leaders during the next 60 days to determine the need for an armored vehicle of some sort.

While Lee voted Tuesday against rejecting the MRAP, he did not explicitly say he supported it. Instead, he wanted the council to step back and study the issue in more detail, or at least have city leaders see the vehicle in action.

While he agreed with members of the public who said at the very least the City Council should have been consulted about the Police Department’s May 2012 request for the vehicle, Lee said sending the vehicle back without further study of the need for it would be a mistake.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right,” he said.

But Lee failed to convince a majority of the council.

City Councilman Lucas Frerichs reprimanded Police Chief Landy Black, saying his process in obtaining the vehicle — requesting it six months after a group of students were pepper-sprayed at UC Davis — exemplified a lack of communication between police and city leaders.

“The fact that you unilaterally decided to acquire this armored vehicle without informing city leaders, including the City Council and city manager, is unacceptable, and that is the fundamental issue for me,” Frerichs said. “And this armored vehicle has no place here in Davis.”

Agreeing with Frerichs, Davis said the MRAP is not only overkill for the Police Department’s needs, he said it symbolized a militarization of the police force that offended the community.

“This symbolizes the most destructive force in the world, the U.S. military,” Davis said, adding that it would create a brittle mistrust between the public and the police. “… We’re war-weary.”

With Wolk already quoted as saying publicly that he opposed the MRAP, the fate of the vehicle was sealed when the motion came to a vote.

This largely satisfied a Community Chambers packed with people vehemently opposed to the MRAP. One of those was Davis resident Alan Miller, who wore a shirt that read “tank the tank.”

With TV news cameras filming, Miller said even though he trusted the current city and police leadership to use the MRAP responsibly, there is no guarantee that future leaders will do so.

“What if (UC Davis Chancellor) Linda Katehi was mayor instead of Dan Wolk?” he asked, his voice rising. “… I do not suggest that you take this vehicle out of Davis, I demand it. I demand it!”

There was loud applause from the audience.

— Reach Dave Ryan at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

 

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Work continues to modernize Davis Healthcare Center

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Holman continues to educate and inspire

    By Daniella Tutino | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    ‘Huck’ and ‘Tom’ float old Arboretum dock to removal

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Teens arrested after midnight joyride

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Biologists: Raising California dam would harm salmon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Overweight video game avatars ‘play’ worse than fit ones

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Meet the mayor for coffee at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Author joins radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Make your own SoulCollage on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Walk through Quail Ridge Reserve on Feb. 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Calling all chicken owners: Apply for coop crawl, share information

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Hopmans named associate vice provost for global affairs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Review motivation to refresh your healthy-habits plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Tips to protect skin this winter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    For health and healthy appearance, there’s just one quick fix

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Measles outbreak grows

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    NAMI-Yolo examines inpatient services at potluck

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Basement living, with attitude to match

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    50 years since Ash Hall

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Can climate change bring us together?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Paso Fino coming to a vote

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Pent up? Join Davis’ latest athletic event

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Two in a row for Devil boys

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Aggies still looking for record hoops win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devil Hammond has a huge day at home

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie football players crack the books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Harper hoopsters off to hot start

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Treys send Toronto past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

     
    College Corner: Have wanderlust? Go overseas for college

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: A8

    District learns from bomb threat incident

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: A8

     
    It’s Girl Scout Cookie time!

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Feenstra-Fisher wedding

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Arts

    A rose by any other name — if there is one

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A11

     
    Acclaimed guitarist Adrian Legg to play at The Palms on Saturday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Show explores the evolution of dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    James George Tingus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, January 29, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B6