Bloomington Police Face Criticism for Armored Truck Purchase

(AP) — Bloomington’s police department is facing criticism for buying an armored truck that opponents argue will militarize the college town’s police force.

Residents who oppose the new quarter-million dollar truck that’s being built for the department’s critical response team questioned Police Chief Mike Diekhoff about the purchase last week.

Protesters then halted Mayor John Hamilton’s annual State of the City address on Thursday by shouting and using a megaphone to voice their unhappiness about the vehicle, which will be outfitted with metal plating and have bulletproof glass.

The department has been without an armored car since 2012, when its truck became too unreliable to use and maintain.

Diekhoff has said the civilian-grade armored vehicle will only be used by specially trained officers who respond to high-risk calls.