Critics say MRAP unnecessary show of force for largely rural Panhandle sheriff's office

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DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Florida — A decision by one Panhandle sheriff's office to purchase a military surplus MRAP is being criticized by some residents.

The Northwest Florida Daily News ( ) reports that the Walton County Sheriff's office bought the mine-resistant and ambush-resistant MRAP for just the $2,500 cost of delivery.

Sheriff Mike Adkinson says the heavy-duty vehicle will protect his officers in dangerous situations. But some residents told the newspaper that the military vehicle is an unnecessary show of force in their largely rural county.

Florida Department of Emergency Management officials say many Florida law enforcement agency are taking advantage of programs to purchase surplus military equipment and to incorporate the equipment into their operations.

Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Florida),

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