When one thinks of campus police, the images called to mind are usually of normal cops who drive squad cars with a bit of school spirit on them. A giant tank-esque armored Humvee deluxe vehicle is usually not among the images called to mind. In fact, in my mind it’s about as far away as, oh say, Iraq. But this is no longer the case at Ohio State University. The campus police force there has recently acquired a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP, from the United States military. This large and heavy duty vehicle is designed to protect patrolling soldiers from ambush attacks and roadside bombs. It was designed specifically to combat insurgencies, such as the ones that the army battled in Iraq and Afghanistan– taking into account their methods of attack and their unpredictability.
So what use is this vehicle to the campus police force? According to campus police chief Paul Denton, it will be used in any emergency situations that require a lot of force. These include bomb threats, hostage situations, and active shooter situations. But what is the real reason that the school has this vehicle? As it turns out, the army doesn’t really need them anymore. These vehicles were designed for combating insurgencies very specifically, but when the army is not fighting insurgencies, they are impractical and not of much use. There are over twenty-thousand MRAPS scattered over the middle east that the army is not entirely sure what to do with. As a result, some are being shipped back and stored, donated as is the case with Ohio State, or even left for scrap (the cheapest option).