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Man questions city's new mine-resistant vehicle

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The Murfreesboro Police Department announced Aug. 21, 2013, that it has obtained a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle from the U.S. Department of Defense. Officials said they will use it for special operations in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo submitted)

Thursday's meeting of the Murfreesboro City Council included lengthy public hearings concerning more annexations and rezonings in the Blackman area, with a sudden reference to the newly acquired mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle.

Multifamily residential rezonings have immediately followed approved annexation requests before the City Council during several meetings over the last several months, and residents expressed concern over the growing number of apartments in the area and their impact on schools.

Jeff Rainwater urged council members to reconsider the impact that such development would have on schools and said city was technically following Tennessee's annexation law but "breaking the spirit of the law."

"The legislature did not intend for cities to annex peninsulas of land for development in the county," he said.

Kevin Gunther, of engineering firm Huddleston-Steele, indicated his clients, the Wright family partnership, were simply seeking the annexation in order to take advantage of city services along Veterans Parkway for their proposed apartment development.

Other comments during the lengthy public hearing focused on the potential negative impact for Blackman area schools, including charges of burdening already overcrowded schools and declining quality in public education.

However, the City Council approved the annexations and rezonings on first reading in a unanimous vote.

Concluding his comments just prior to the vote on the matter, Rainwater threw the council and audience a curve when he suddenly protested the Murfreesboro Police Department's recent acquisition of an armored personnel carrier with a grant for military surplus.

"I am going to say the most important thing I have ever said to the City Council," he said. "Give the MRAP back."

City councilmen and audience members alike looked to each other in bewilderment, prompting Mayor Tommy Bragg to explain that "MRAP" is simply an acronym for a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle.

Councilman Toby Gilley then explained that the Police Department had acquired the vehicle at no cost in order to employ it as a tool in "threats from armed gunmen."

"If it has any further unreasonable costs, we can simply scrap it, right?" Gilley asked.

"Yes," replied Police Chief Glenn Chrisman.

Read more from:
Blackman, City Council, Construction, Glenn Chrisman, Jeff Rainwater, MRAP Vehicle, Murfreesboro, Public Safety, Rezoning, Toby Gilley
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Members Opinions:
August 24, 2013 at 7:13pm
The MRAP will be used "to employ it as a tool in 'threats from armed gunmen.'"

Oh, really? Perhaps the good people of Murfreesboro need to look into what an MRAP really is.

"The MRAP is a hardened vehicle that will withstand an improvised explosive device blast...." It carries nine personnel.

"These vehicles are very durable," [JRSOI senior training and development specialist Philip Atkinson] said. "They are designed to withstand quite an explosion, and really basically have all the parts blow off of the vehicle like tires, engines, transmissions and just have the cab stay intact where all the soldiers are so they can survive."

An MRAP would be serious overkill (pardon the pun) for "threats from armed gunmen." So why exactly do Murfreesboro law enforcement need a mine-protected, all-terrain armored personnel carrier? I think the people need to ask a few questions that are more probing than simply, "How much does it cost?"

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/112254/100000th-service-member-trains-vehicle-rollover#.UhlJqz_JJDA#ixzz2cw0YdfM8
September 28, 2013 at 6:43pm
Wow..... I moved to this town to get away from Clarksville style BS...... now we have MCPD MRAPS on the roads and MTSU drones in the sky..... maybe the conspiracy theorists, peppers, Aldous Huxley, and others are right...... but of course, Boro/Rutherford county citizens are going to lay back and take it. When one of the towns citizens tries to purchase or use one of these prices of equipment, the local powers that be will say "What do you need that for? Oh, yeah? Well you can't own it or use it, that's for government officials and LEOs only." Welcome to the Gray State.....
September 29, 2013 at 12:13pm
"Councilman Toby Gilley then explained that the Police Department had acquired the vehicle at no cost"... You need to vote against this guy ASAP. It's absurd and offensive to imply there was no cost to this $658,000! vehicle. The taxpayers paid for it.

There is a grant system the city has to fill out the reason for their need for this type of vehicle including listing specific terrorist groups, etc. that have been such a HUGE problem for Murfreesboro that they need a taxpayer-funded MRAP to protect against all the mines and whatnot. I'm guessing your city council and police chief committed a federal crime when they filled out the paperwork and made up the justifications. Instead of reporting on how cool it is, dig in and see how illegal it is and who is lying about what.
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