The San Jose and Davis police departments are returning their military equipment obtained from the government.
Citing fears after seeing images of Ferguson, the city of Davis, California is set to return its armored vehicle.
The police wanted to keep the vehicle. The city said no.
The Davis Police Department now has 60 days to get rid of a $689,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle, which police acquired through a U.S. Defense Department program, and must consider other rescue vehicle options.
The Davis Police Department took possession of the free vehicle two weeks ago through the Defense Department’s 1033 program — administered by the California Office of Emergency Services — which is aimed at repurposing federal and military equipment for local law enforcement.
Through the program, the police department has obtained a number of free surplus military hardware, including body armor, binoculars, riot helmets and training rifles.
San Jose police will be returning its mine-resistant armored truck.
San Jose police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol told KCBS the decision was made based on concerns for potential damage to the department’s image and community relationships.
“We want to keep their trust. We don’t want them to feel we are going off on another path with our police department,” she said. “We want them to feel comfortable about the tools that we use.”
Used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mine-resistant, ambush-protected troop transport, or MRAP, became a focus for debate after a military surplus vehicle and equipment were used at protests in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this month when local law enforcement responded to civil unrest over the police killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
According the San Jose Mercury News, Redwood City, South San Francisco, and Antioch, have decided to keep their armored transports.