After San Bernardino, Some Say San Jose Police Department Should Have Kept Its MRAP - NBC Bay Area
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After San Bernardino, Some Say San Jose Police Department Should Have Kept Its MRAP

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    NEWSLETTERS

    After San Bernardino, some are saying it was a mistake for the San Jose Police Department to get rid of its MRAP. Damian Trujillo reports. (Published Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015)

    The suspects in Wednesday's San Bernardino mass shooting had an arsenal of weapons and explosives. Many are saying that's a good reason to more adequately equip police.

    The San Jose Police Department, though, got rid of its controversial armored tank. The community was angered that San Jose police got an MRAP, saying it was militarizing the force, so San Jose gave it back to the federal government before it was even unveiled. After what happened in San Bernardino, some are saying that was a mistake.

    Ric Abeyta is a former police chief who currently works for the federal government training the Mexican police force on ethics and tactics. He says departments have to give their officers the firepower they need to fight criminals, even terrorists, and an MRAP is part of that firepower.

    "It's not overkill when you're a citizen that needs to be evacuated out of a firefight," Abeyta said.

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    San Jose police union vice president James Gonzales says Wednesday's massacre proves his department needs the MRAP and other crime-fighting tools.

    "In many instances, the people who are attacking our citizens and our police are better armed than the police themselves, and that's a problem," Gonzales said.

    But the San Jose Peace and Justice Center says the city doesn't need MRAPs or a militarized force. The center's Michelle Cordova said she wants to see better tactically trained officers instead.

    "A tank wouldn't have done anything, wouldn't have solved the situation at all," Cordova said. "They need to be trained how to de-escalate violence."

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