Austin to Keep Armored Vehicle

December 11, 2014

Elected officials of an Austin, Texas, suburb have decided to keep an armored military vehicle.

KXAN-TV reports Georgetown council members voted Tuesday to fund operation costs for the MRAP, or mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle.

Police Chief Wayne Nero says the department got the vehicle for free but it needs about $2,500 in operational costs. He says it broke down in traffic on its first trip out for a paint job.

Councilman Tommy Gonzalez voted against keeping the vehicle. He says the county already has a handful of military vehicles and he’d rather spend money on a police cruiser or reducing city debt.

The use of armored vehicles by police forces has been scrutinized after their deployment in the response to people protesting the shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri.

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