SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The San Diego Unified School District has acquired an MRAP, the armored military vehicle used in Iraq, Afghanistan and, most infamously, Ferguson, Mo.
The $730,000 vehicle was acquired at no cost to local taxpayers through the controversial 1033 Program, which allows surplus military equipment to be sent to local-level police departments. The school district did pay about $5,000 for shipping, KPBS reported.
Several hundred of the MRAP units have been distributed to local police departments, including some associated with schools.
Although the MRAP can withstand mine blasts and is capable of smashing down walls, school district police will only use it in “emergency situations,” said San Diego Unified School District Police Department Cpt. Joe Florentino.
“Our idea is: How can we get in and pull out a classroom at a time of kids if there’s an active shooter? If there’s a fire [or] if there’s an earthquake, can we rip down a wall? Stuff like that,” Florentino said.
San Diego Unified School District police officers are “real” officers with law enforcement authority in all of California. Petty theft is by far the most common crime its officers encounter, according to the department website.