A recently acquired armored truck that will soon cover the streets of Columbus on and off the OSU campus is now under fire from critics.
The new vehicle is strong enough to withstand a mine blast.
Critics are asking why Ohio State needs such a vehicle at a college.
“We consider ourselves a city within a city, so we take our obligation for protections of safety of students, faculty, and staff very seriously,” said OSU police Chief Paul Denton, who says he is fully aware of the national attention.
10TV was there when crews removed the turret from the top of the mine-resistant ambush protection vehicle, known as the MRAP.
The turret is where the gunner normally sits, but OSU Police Chief Paul Denton says this vehicle won't have any weapons on it.
“We're going through the process of having it painted and removing some of the other equipment on there to make it more user friendly and more adaptable in an urban environment,” added Denton.
10TV obtained a document where Denton outlined several scenarios for the MRAP to be used. It includes officer rescues, hostage situations or bomb calls.
Still, the criticism has been harsh, with many blogs calling the MRAP at OSU unnecessary.
The bigger concern, according to critics, is whether police are becoming more like the military.
Denton says not at all.
“We're looking at this as an all hazards, more broadly in terms of public safety,” he added.
Denton also cites the 2010 tornado on the Wooster campus as one way the MRAP could have been useful. The 19-ton truck can go through three feet of water and move over heavy debris.
While the MRAP's core protection is against IED's, that's something the chief hopes won't ever have to be tested.
Denton says OSU is possibly the first college to get an MRAP which didn't cost anything.
It was part of a military surplus program and will replace a smaller vehicle that has aged out.
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