The University of California, Berkeley decided campus police shouldn't have a military-style armored vehicle.
The UC Police Department sought to use a $169,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to purchase an "Armored Response Counter Attack Truck," also called a Lenco BearCat. The UCPD argues it would be necessary in dealing with possible shootings on campus, and would be shared with local municipal police agencies.
Berkeley Patch reported UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgenau said the eight-ton armored truck has no place on campus.
"Campus administrators evaluated the proposal and concluded that such a military-style vehicle is not the best choice for a university setting," Birgenau said. "UC officials are in the process of canceling the order for the vehicle."
While campus shootings are dangerous and tragic events, they are highly rare occurrences:
University of Virginia Professor Dewey Cornell, an expert in violence prevention and school safety, told Campus Reform on Friday that with approximately 4,800 four-year colleges in the U.S., and an average of 10 homicides per year on college campuses, the average college can expect a homicide about once every 480 years.
"With all we hear we hear about the federal deficit, it’s a shame there is money available for things like this but not for prevention," said Cornell. "If a university has to resort to a Bearcat, that means there is a failure somewhere else."
The UCPD has been criticized in numerous reports over the past decade for reacting too aggressively to student protesters, including in the past year. Community members were worried that with the UCPD's history, this would be an ill-advised step towards "militarizing" the campus cops.
"When we found out about this grant application, we sort of went ballistic," Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I mean, why do we need this here in Berkeley, and why would we want to militarize our police force?"
2005 - UCLA campus police tase student in a library -- protests and demonstrations follow
Students and others march across campus to protest outside the University of California, Los Angeles police department after a rally on the Westwood campus Friday, Nov. 17, 2006 to protest police use of a taser on UCLA student Mostafa Tabatabainejad in a campus library Tuesday, Nov. 14.
2007 - UC Berkeley students occupy trees
Authorities negotiate with two tree-sitters at a tree on the campus of the University of California in Berkeley, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008. UC Berkeley officials are preparing to remove the last remaining tree-sitters protesting a planned sports center next to Memorial Stadium, where the football team plays. The university has refused to meet the protesters' demand that it donate $6 million to environmental and Native American groups as part of an agreement for the tree-sitters to come down voluntarily.
2009 - UCLA cops taser student protesters, protesting tuition hikes.
A student protester is tazered by a police officer during a protest against an increase in student fees at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles on Nov. 19, 2009. The University of California Board of Regents approved a 32 percent tuition increase during a meeting which at the campus today.
2009 - November incident at Wheeler hall, students clash with police outside of Wheeler while students barricaded themselves in the building.
Demonstrators protest in front of a closed off University of California, Berkeley building on the Berkeley, Calif., campus, Friday,. Nov. 20, 2009, during a demonstration against university fee hikes and layoffs.
2009-2010 - student protesters start using "Occupy Everything" tag
Students occupy the hallway outside the office of the university chancellor at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) to protest education funding cuts and rising tuition on March 4, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of students and educators from elementary, middle and high schools, and colleges and universities are holding marches, rallies and class walkouts across California today as part of a nationwide effort calling for no more cuts to education. University of California system student fees have increased 61 percent over the past five years and costs have gone up for students of California community colleges which, until the property tax rollback of 1978, provided tuition-free to all high school graduates.
March 2010 - at least one student tased when students "occupy" a portion of interstate 80/880
Oakland police officers take down a splinter group of protestors who attempted to block Interstate 880 following a rally for the national day of action against school funding cuts and tuition increases March 4, 2010 in Oakland, Calif. Dozens of protestors were arrested after they stormed the 880 freeway as students across the country were walking out of classes and holding demonstrations against massive tuition increases and funding cuts to college universities.
2011 - students beat with batons at UC Berkeley
2011 - UC Davis students pepper sprayed
In this image made from video, a police officer uses pepper spray as he walks down a line of Occupy demonstrators sitting on the ground at the University of California, Davis on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. The video - posted on YouTube - was shot Friday as police moved in on more than a dozen tents erected on campus and arrested 10 people, nine of them students.