Do Los Angeles school police need grenade launchers?

September 17, 2014

800px-M-32_Grenade_LauncherLos Angeles Unified School District police are sitting on a cache of military equipment that includes a tank and grenade launchers. [CBS LA]

Like police departments across the country, the Los Angeles school police received their combat equipment from the U.S. military via federal grants. The police department obtained the grenade launchers shortly after 9/11, but LAUSD Police Chief Steve Zipperman is now saying that the department will dispose of them.

“It’s a piece of equipment that is not essential for our mission, so we will be disposing of those,” Zimmerman said.

But, Zimmerman said he plans to keep the armored vehicle.

His department acquired the 20-foot-long, 14-ton transport vehicle in July. The tank has a value of $733,000 and is designed like the vehicles used to move marines through combat zones in Iraq.

Zimmerman said it is a life-saving vehicle and is the department’s best option for policy-type rescues.

“To suggest that it’s a threatening type of equipment for a show of force, that is not the case,” Zimmerman said.

Last month, the Davis City Council directed its police department to get rid of its $700,000 armored vehicle. Backlash against police militarization erupted in Davis after residents saw law enforcement used heavily armored vehicles and other military gear to confront protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.



  1. slojustice says:

    These ” educators” are probably the folks that preach to our children that the second amendment of our Constitution is no longer valid. Face it , our government is to damn big. “I love my country but fear my government”

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
  2. CARNAC says:

    First, why does the LAUSD have a police department which duplicates the LAPD?

    Second, local police and sheriffs are acquiring heavy weapons at an alarming rate as are most state and federal non law enforcement departments and agencies. Last I looked we are a reasonably peaceful population and are sovereign over our government – not the other way around.

    It is time we make this matter a major issue with our elected representatives and make it clear that we will not tolerate police forces armed in the same way as our Armed Forces. In fact the Constitution prohibits the Armed Forces acting as domestic police. If the domestic police have the armaments of our Armed Forces how are they then different?

    There are some bad guys out there, but we don’t need tanks to take them into custody. And many times the force the bad guys use will rise to the level of the force used against them.

    We are not yet a police state, but we are arming as if we were. Let’s call a halt to the arms race.

    (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down
  3. SamLouis says:

    The militarization of the police (and some school systems it would seem) is a hideous, terrible thing. This hearing on CSPAN is worth a listen:

    Police Use of Military Equipment

    Witnesses testified at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the sale of Department of Defense weapons and equipment to state and local police forces.

    (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
  4. ApathyWillKillYou says:

    Hey, don’t dispose of those grenade launchers…

    Give them to SLOPD….

    They will be a compliment to their BAYONETS!

    (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
  5. MarkGB says:

    If I had to deal with all those teenagers I’d want grenade launchers too.

    (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Better would be parents that actually care about their children and their behavior in school. Parents who take an interest in their children’s school and stay active instead of just treating school as a daytime daycare, but cry foul anytime a school attempts some sort of discipline for bad behavior.

      (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down

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