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Saginaw Sheriff Dumping Military Vehicle Made Fun Of By Hbo Comedy Show


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SAGINAW, MI — The day after a national news show highlighted the Saginaw County Sheriff's Mine-Resistant Ambush Proof (MRAP) vehicle during coverage of citizen-police clashes in Ferguson, Missouri, Sheriff Bill Federspiel confirmed that plans had already been laid for the vehicle to leave the county for good.


Read original story about sheriff receiving MRAP

The sheriff's 19-ton MRAP was shown during a Sunday, Aug. 17, segment of HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" entitled, "Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization." The host mentions Saginaw County's vehicle about 7:45 into the clip.




The vehicle that the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department received free of charge earlier this year from the U.S. Army was shown in a motorist's March 2014 Youtube video driving on a Saginaw street.


The clip shows something a Saginaw County resident will only see again if they catch the vehicle driving out of town, Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel said Monday, Aug. 18.


"I made the decision about a month ago to decommission that vehicle," Federspiel said, noting he did it based on financial concerns due to unforeseen maintenance costs.


While the military was to provide any needed parts, Federspiel said he still had to pay for a specialized mechanic to install the parts, along with insurance and fuel for the vehicle.


When Saginaw County Commissioners asked him to look for cost-saving measures before setting the budget in July, the MRAP was the first thing to go, he said.


The decision also came because Federspiel decided to direct funds from drug forfeitures into the county's general fund, he said. He previously planned to use drug forfeiture funds to pay for any costs associated with the MRAP and did so during the installation of a new starter and a new locking mechanism for the door since the vehicle has been in Saginaw County.


When drug forfeiture funding was put into the county's general fund, Federspiel said it created a situation in which taxpayers might have to fund some of the costs of the MRAP, which also prompted him to send it back to the Army.


He said the idea to get the vehicle came from former undersheriff Robert Karl, who was recently fired. The sheriff said he was "a little hesitant" but he agreed to get the vehicle and see if it would be useful.


Federspiel said he has since spoken with administrators of the Michigan State Police and now feels comfortable that similar vehicles could be made available to the department if needed.


About a month ago, Federspiel said he had members of the department remove the striping from the vehicle "so no one would be tempted to use it."


"Once I made the decision to decommission it, that's it," he said, adding, "We had it for six or eight months and didn't use it once. Why keep it around?"


During the several months the department had the vehicle, Federspiel said he has not heard anything from constituents in support of or against the vehicle.


When questions of police militarization came into the national news spotlight because of clashes between citizens and police over the police shooting of a man in Ferguson, Federspiel said he was surprised no one asked him about the vehicle.


He said when the department commissioned the vehicle, it was a tool he planned to use only in the case of a natural disaster or an emergency, like an armored gunman with high-powered weapons.

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So in once breath  he said he had it for 6 or 8 months and didn't use it once so "why keep it around?" And in another breath he said he only planned to use it for natural disasters or an emergency like an armored gunman with high powered weapons. Why kind of lying donkey rectum lies so bad as to make those statements? How often does a natural disaster or armored gunman with high powered weapons present a problem where such a tank would be necessary? If those were his true intended uses for the tank then how do you justify getting rid of it after well under a year? If your town built a 12 story building and the fire dept bought a hook and ladder truck in case of fire in THAT building would the fire chief then come out and say "well we haven't had a fire in that building in 6 or 8 months so we're going to sell the hook and ladder truck?


That federspiel is a sack of horseshit. And I am sure he knew years ago that he could borrow a tank from the state police if he needed one. He just wanted another toy. I'd like to know how much he spent on the starter and whatever else he sunk into it and I'd like to know how many man hours the deputies will put into taking striping off the tank.

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I hope that the bright light shining on Ferguson will also require that police amend tactical rules and, for instance, find another way to deal with a neighborhood man who suffers from obvious mental health disease and who flashes a short blade at a dozen officers surrounding him than to blast him into oblivion with sixty or so rounds.

Edited by GregS
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Recall Sheriff Federspiel used to drive a Dodge Charger with "seized from a drug dealer" emblazoned on the side of it, and his department did some highly publicized search smash and seize operations a couple years ago.  Don't know where he stands on mmj now, but agree with his second position on dumping the MRAP and any possible association it might have with Saginaw, god knows we don't need any more bad publicity.

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Saginaw is not the only police department that has learned getting an  MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle for nothing is not the same as free once maintenance and training are included.


White Cloud apparently also learned this lesson. Their MRAP was recently listed for sale on eBay. Among other things the listing detailed an ongoing maintenance issue with the rig's automatic tire inflation system.


Personally I considered making a bid for the MRAP as a nice outdoor grow space but once the bids hit $40,000 this idea was discarded. The flat tires were also a distraction.

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Anonymous has called for a rally against the violence in Ferguson and the militarization of the police in Lansing tonight at 7pm in front of the Michigan Ave Entrance to the Capital.


Nuff said.


Dr. Bob

The violence against the citizens or the violence against the police? Maybe both?

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