GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Armored vehicles are being used more frequently by local law enforcement in emergency situations.
The use of armored vehicles by local police has been a controversial topic, but they’ve been put to the test more often.
The MRAP has only been used once, but Sheriff Craig Apple attributes a saved life to the vehicle. In active shooter situations, police are often the ones running towards it.
“Before it was hurry up and get a group and then go in,” Apple said. “Now, it’s you’re the first guy there, get in there, and stop that carnage and take out that threat. So our officers today are risking their lives more so than they were even a year ago or two years ago.”
The MRAP is bulletproof and powerful.
“That vehicle helps people get in safely and help get people out safely,” Apple said.
Armored vehicles were considered controversial because many felt they militarized the police. But as people see the vehicles put to the test, such as in the fatal California shooting, critics have fallen silent.
“There’s a lot more to it than an active shooter,” Apple said. “You’ve got a medical component, you’ve got a traffic component, you’ve got a perimeter component, and of course now more than ever, we’re putting our officers in more danger.”
Thomas Munger is the President of the New York State Troopers PBA.
“Every TV set saw these items being used and effectively,” he said. “And all of a sudden, it’s not such a bad idea.”
Munger said the California shooting gave him pause when he saw the police were out gunned by the suspects.
“It wasn’t a spur of the moment,” he said. “It was a well-planned out thing. The biggest thing is when a trooper shows up, he or she should have at least equal firepower to the person on the other side.”
That’s why the PBA is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo for more manpower and more protection such as the armored vehicles.
“It happened in Paris across the Atlantic Ocean,” Munger said. “It happened down in the West Coast. When’s it going to come in our backyard?”