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It turns out that a massive, armor-plated vehicle rumbling around town as it wards off bad guys' bullets doesn't quite project the image that city and university leaders in Berkeley are shooting for.
Not that this should be much of a surprise - at least according to those who were initially surprised about the idea even coming up.
City and UC Berkeley officials announced Thursday that they, along with their counterparts in the city of Albany, have canceled a joint request for a $170,000 Armored Emergency Rescue Vehicle from a federally affiliated nonprofit group. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates said the big question wasn't whether local police could find such a vehicle useful - but why in the world the application was made to begin with.
"When we found out about this grant application we sort of went ballistic," Bates said Thursday. "I mean, why do we need this here in Berkeley, and why would we want to militarize our police force?"