The Daily Iowan

Johnson County Sheriff’s Office budgets for MRAP replacement

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is requesting funding from the Board of Supervisors to replace the department’s Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. Sheriff Brad Kunkel has proposed buying a Lenco BearCat as an alternative.


Scott Ash/Now News Group

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Lenco BearCat (armored vehicle) is a popular attraction during the Sussex Touch-a-Truck event on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. The free event, located behind at the Civic Center, features emergency vehicles, fire trucks, police cars, construction vehicles and more.

Cooper Worth, News Reporter

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is requesting funding to replace its Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected, or MRAP, vehicle with a more compact vehicle with similar functionality.

The Sheriff’s Office has proposed replacing the MRAP vehicle with the Lenco BearCat G2 armored vehicle ahead of the Sheriff’s Office’s annual budget meeting with the Johnson County Board of Supervisors on Monday. 

The BearCat will cost $240,000 with all of its equipment.

The MRAP vehicle was acquired by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 by the federal government through the 1033 program, which lends equipment to law enforcement. It has responded to 19 call-outs since 2014, as previously reported by The Daily Iowan.

The BearCat G2 is a smaller alternative to the MRAP and has been used for special operations units within the hundreds of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the U.S. 

Following Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020, the Iowa Freedom Riders requested the Iowa City City Council write a letter to the Johnson County officials in support of selling the MRAP vehicle, in a list of demands. 

The MRAP vehicle has been shared with the Iowa City Police Department since 2014 and has been deployed by the department seven times. 

Iowa City Police Chief Dustin Liston wrote in a memo to the Iowa City City Council that out of those seven incidents, four have occurred in the Iowa City south district, which has a higher proportion of residents of color.  

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague previously supported getting rid of the MRAP vehicle altogether at a city council meeting in the summer.

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About the Contributor
Cooper Worth, News Editor

Cooper Worth serves as a News Editor for The Daily Iowan. He is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and mass communication....

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