Warren County’s deal for four free vehicles is like those deals you get at garage sales, when the seller says you can have that first edition John D. MacDonald novel you want, but you have to take the box of encyclopedias, too.

Warren County got two Humvees and an old Brinks armored car from the feds for its emergency response team. The Humvees were free and the armored car was $10.

Imagine the haggling:

“I’ll give you five bucks for it.”

“No, sorry, I’ve got to get at least $15.”

It was a good deal. But then, like the liter of soda the Chinese restaurant throws in when your order tops $30, a 19-ton mine-resistant ambush-protected armored vehicle got added to our cart.

It’s a million-dollar, 10-foot-tall, blast-busting behemoth that gets 1 mpg.

The MRAPs, as the acronym-happy military calls them, were manufactured to protect troops in Iraq and Afghanistan against improvised explosive devices.

Whoever unloaded these things on local governments should get a job selling cars when she leaves the military. How did she pitch it to Undersheriff Shawn Lamouree?

“You guys get a lot of IED action, right?”

— “Uh, no.”

“But you could, that’s the point. You never know when you might be just riding along and — blam!”

Sheriff Bud York said the emergency response team will use the rolling castle for standoffs with armed suspects, drug raids and other dangerous scenarios.

So, let’s say a drug raid is taking place in Lake George. First thing, burn 9 or 10 gallons of gas driving up there in the MRAP. Then, park the MRAP at the house, inconspicuously. Third, staying protected inside the MRAP, call out to the drug dealers inside the house to surrender.

Fourth, show off your ride to the dealers on the way back to the lockup.

This MRAP is worth $1 million, instead of just $700,000, because it has a gun turret. Sadly, it has no gun. Is one available, perhaps at a discount? Because having a .50 caliber machine gun in the turret would boost the intimidation factor the Sheriff’s Office is seeking.

“Come out of the house or we are going to shred it like Swiss cheese. And we’re going to shred the house behind yours, and the one behind that. Who knows where these bullets are going to stop?”

Maybe the gun is a bad idea. But we’ve got the turret. Perhaps we could put an archer in the turret. Bewilder the bad guys with our anachronisms.

“Look, we’ve got an MRAP and an arrow with your name on it. Give up.”

So many possibilities, and all for free. How could we say no?

Will Doolittle is projects editor of The Post-Star. He may be reached at will@poststar.com and followed on Twitter at @trafficstatic.

(7) comments

pfenton

I'd just like to find a way to get in touch with Larry Cleveland to tell him I'm sorry!

wheresthesavings

Regardless of what side of this issue you are on, everybody hopes it is never needed, however, god forbid there is an incident somewhere, maybe even a school, I would want my child, as well as yours, and the officers going in as well, to have every chance of coming back out. They have children too. If it's never needed, all of this talk was wasted, and the only true waste of taxpayers money, was done by the feds in the first place, by spending millions on what would become, garage sale scrap iron.

temptedsniper

once again the true problem is skirted around. the cost of the modifications/refit to these vehicles is most likely one of the reasons they were sold as scrap. the sheriffs claim that they could be intimidating is probably only going to be correct 5 - 10 percent of the situations that they would deploy them. THE REAL PROBLEM is the militarization of our police dept. although it is happening everywhere in the country the public seem blind to the fact that our government is gradually treating the public as an enemy. that's fine with me because when the inevitable public uprising and/or coup on government happens at least we will be able to steal them and use them to regain control of our nation from the 10- 20 people who actually have all the power. remember the only likely reason the gov. wants guns off the streets is so they can't be used against gov. a gun never woke up loaded itself walked into a school and shot kids it was a human that didand if he had no gun he would find a way

pearlgirl

What a wonderful commentary! I laughed so hard I had tears running down my cheeks! Thank you for your wit and improving my health by providing a good "haw,haw" for the week.

Maries

Maybe we could have the MRAP at next year's Memorial Day parade. I personally would rather see one less snow plow in the parade.

Talk about shock and awe!

Sceptical Mass

Who, exactly, do they plan to intimidate with this surplus junk?

Jonny

What use is this vehicle in any takeover of a building/active shooter situation? Are they going to drive INSIDE and run over the shooter? Not likely. They aren't going to take it off-road in many places around here without it sinking like a rock in mud, with the local soil conditions. I see only one real use for this, forming cross departmental jealousy, i.e. "Look what we have, Saratoga county!" WooHoo! Boyz and their Toyz, that's IT. What a supreme waste of funds. It isn't at all free.

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