Should Benton County own an Armored Vehicle

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office has added an armored vehicle to its fleet, the result of a federal program that provides surplus military gear at no cost to law enforcement agencies.  Many people have complained that this is a “militarization” of our police.  I don’t know what that means, but I see this vehicle as a tool that could be useful in protecting the police in some circumstances.  For example, a similar vehicle was needed, and had to be borrowed from Linn County, to address a potentially active shooter situation in Blodgett (in Benton County), which I covered in a Letter to the Editor of the Gazette.  I support the Sheriff’s Office in acquiring this vehicle and other tools necessary to protect our community.