Armored vehicle is ‘Tupper’s Folly’

Because of USFS connections, Iowa DNR Forestry administers an Excess Federal Property Program. The EFPP dispenses Army Jeeps, deuce-and-a-half trucks, and other equipment to towns wanting the items for rural fire control. At one time, Marshalltown had two Jeeps.

One problem with this program is that the feds never relinquish title to the vehicles. The Army forever has a right to recall them. Towns cannot dispose of them; they must be offered to other towns. Only after the vehicle is declared junk by a federal bureaucrat can a town haul them to a salvage yard. In the meantime, the vehicles are subject to annual inspection by a federal representative.

This may be the case with the behemoth that Police Chief Mike Tupper wants to bring to Marshalltown. It may cost $5,000 to transport, another $5,000 per tire, another $5,000 for personnel training, $5,000 for storage, insurance, maintenance, and the like. Our PD could spend $100,000 on this vehicle and never be able to sell it. If an armored personnel carrier is needed, one that is far more adaptable could be bought or built much cheaper.

If the chief proceeds with this acquisition it should be stenciled, writ large, “Tupper’s Folly.”