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Armored Vehicle Obtained by San Diego Unified Schools

by Michael Higham, published

How did the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) obtain an armored vehicle? Through the Department of Defense's Excess Property Program. The program donates unused equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies who submit requests. SDUSD did not have to purchase the vehicle, but had to pay a $5,000 shipping fee to deliver it to San Diego.

Specifically, it is a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP) which has been used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by SWAT teams around the country. An MRAP is valued around $730,000, but again, it was donated. The district also plans to store donated medical supplies in the vehicle.

According to iNews Source, the SDUSD Police Department stated that it was obtained for emergency purposes. Captain Joe Florentino said, "Our idea is ‘How can we get in and pull out a classroom at a time of kids if there’s an active shooter? If there’s a fire, if there’s an earthquake, can we rip down a wall?’ Stuff like that.”

The vehicle is being stored in a garage at my old stomping grounds of Samuel F.B. Morse High School. Morse's auto collision and refinishing program worked on repainting the vehicle.

Florentino is aware that it may raise red flags, but he stated, "Hopefully, we never have to use it for the real deal."

SDUSD consists of 226 schools with 132,000 students in total. It is the second largest school district in California with an operating budget of $1 billion.

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