Lawmakers Vote To Keep Armored Vehicle
The Jefferson County Board of Legislators voted 8 to 6 to let the sheriff's department keep it's new MRAP, a surplus military armored vehicle it recently received.
"It's a safety issue for the sheriff's patrol," said District 11 Legislator Robert Ferris.
"There are no guns on it, like I said, no flame throwers or any type of weapon to be offensive on it," he said. "It is strictly for protection of the officers."
The military gave the department the vehicle about a month ago.
Sheriff John Burns says the vehicle will help law enforcement officers stay safe in dangerous situations.
"The last thing I want to do is to tell a spouse to a deputy, or their child, that their mother, father, brother was killed," Burns said.
"This is something that we can use as a tool to get us up close to a house," he said.
Not everyone shares those sentiments.
Person after person stepped up to the microphone to say they just didn't feel safe with a military vehicle in their community.
"It's not so much the size of the vehicle," Charles Kingsley said, "it's the intimidation."
Scott Gray is one of six legislators who voted against the vehicle. He calls the MRAP excessive.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014, Watertown, NY
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