We live in a glorious country, America, where not only can police forces buy extremely armored vehicles, but they can equip themselves to the point where they are, for all and intents and purposes, armies. But why just limit that notion to police forces? Because a school district just bought its first armored behemoth.
The BAE Systems Caiman is a six-wheeled, 18-ton Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP, equipped with the best in Tensylon composite armor, stations for any manned or unmanned weapons system you could ever possibly want, and a V-shaped hull to deflect the crushing blast from massive land mines and improvised explosive devices, and the San Diego School District just picked up its first one.
Because that is necessary.
As visions dance in your head of Assistant Principal Bone gleefully peering out the top hatch, ready to crush any truant that dares to step in his way, San Diego Unified School District Police Chief Ruben Littlejohn said that all of the weapons have been removed, really, an enormous MRAP is about protecting the kids, and making them feel good, according to local radio station KPBS:
"There will be medical supplies in the vehicle. There will be teddy bears in the vehicle. There will be trauma kits in the vehicle in the event any student is injured, and our officers are trained to give first aid and CPR," he said.
Teddy bears. Joy.
And just in case the whole "SWAT-team gray" paint scheme is a bit off-putting, the school district has come up with a render of the thing in Red Cross white:
Littlejohn went on to say that the vehicle would be used by police officers for protection in the case of an active shooter, or if the school needs to rescue children from a fire, because no one in this situation has apparently ever heard of a fire department.
But there is hope. Local school district trustee Scott Burnett, possibly the only reasonable person left in the entire universe, has called the MRAP a "misguided priority," what with the 10 police cruisers the district already has falling apart.
And Burnett's right. But on the other hand, MRAP.
Photos credit: San Diego Unified School District