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Spoils of war: Police getting leftover Iraq trucks

QUEENSBURY (AP) -- Coming soon to your local sheriff: 18-ton, armor-protected military fighting vehicles that were once the U.S. answer to roadside bombs during the Iraq war.

The hulking vehicles were built for about $500,000 each at the height of the war. They are among the biggest pieces of equipment that the Defense Department is giving free to law enforcement agencies under a national military surplus program.

Police and sheriff's departments nationwide have scooped up 165 of the so-called MRAP trucks since they became available this summer. That includes eight in New York state.

Sheriffs say the MRAPS are a choice vehicle should SWAT teams need to get close to a shooter or rescue bystanders.

But some critics are questioning the militarization of police, including armored vehicles too big to travel on some bridges and roadways.

AP-WF-11-24-13 1450GMT
 
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