Posted at: 11/25/2013 11:13 AM
QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (AP) - Coming soon to your local sheriff: 18-ton, armor-protected military fighting vehicles that were once the U.S. answer to roadside bombs during the Iraq war.
The hulking vehicles were built for about $500,000 each at the height of the war. They are among the biggest pieces of equipment that the Defense Department is giving free to law enforcement agencies under a national military surplus program.
Police and sheriff's departments nationwide have scooped up 165 of the so-called MRAP trucks since they became available this summer. That includes eight in New York state.
Sheriffs say the MRAPS are a choice vehicle should SWAT teams need to get close to a shooter or rescue bystanders.
But some critics are questioning the militarization of police, including armored vehicles too big to travel on some bridges and roadways.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)