The Caiman MRAP, designed by BAE offers “greater survivability..through an enhanced monolithic floor, a strengthened chassis frame and highly effective blast absorbing seats.” Now the San Diego Unified School District is proud to include one as part of its fleet.
The $700,000 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP), designed to withstand blasts from improvised explosive devices and mines, was given to the San Diego Unified School District (SCUSD) police force in April as part of the Department of Defense 1033 program, which allows the military to donate surplus equipment to local police.
The BAE Caiman is available in both four- and six-wheeled configurations, and was part of a $629 million contract with the military.
In October of 2013, local police and sheriff offices around the country began receiving Caiman 6×6 MTVs like the one the San Diego Unified School District received. Through the 10/33 program, the US Federal Government began offering the vehicles to jurisdictions as the need for them decreased as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began to conclude.
The $700,000 vehicles were sold to local police departments for the cost of transportation to get them to the municipality.
“When we have an emergency at a school, we’ve got to get in and save kids,” SCUSD Captain Joe Florentino said.
“Our idea is ‘How can we get in and pull out a classroom at a time of kids if there’s an active shooter?’ said Florentino. “‘If there’s a fire [or] if there’s an earthquake, can we rip down a wall?’ Stuff like that.”
“I can totally see people thinking ‘Oh, my God. Are they going to be rolling armored vehicles into our schools and what the hell’s going on?’,” Florentino said.
“Hopefully, we’ll never have to use it for the real deal.”