Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican and military veteran who represents east San Diego County, has joined lawmakers criticizing the militarization of police forces in the wake of rioting in Ferguson, MO.
“In some cases, military equipment has a practical use. But there are limitations on the type of equipment, obviously,” he told Politico. “The idea that state and local police departments need tactical vehicles and MRAPs with gun turrets is excessive. Certain resources are designed and manufactured for a military mission—and it should stay that way.”
Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, was referring to a Pentagon program that transfers surplus military equipment to state and local agencies.
“I don’t have a problem with the program overall, but I’m not comfortable with the idea that equipment designated for the battlefield could have a community application,” Hunter said.
Hunter served in the Marine Corps in Iraq, where the giant MRAP vehicle was introduced to protect soldiers on patrol from improvised explosive devices.
Duncan’s 50th district includes Santee, Alpine, Escondido, Fallbrook, Temecula and most of east San Diego County north of Interstate 8.