Some in Ferguson outraged over DARE vehicle they say is insensitive

Many in Ferguson are upset over the police department's new D.A.R.E. Humvee. Credit: KMOV

Some people in the Ferguson community are outraged over a new vehicle at the police department.

The car is a Humvee that has been in the department's fleet since 2011, but is now used for D.A.R.E, a national drug prevention program. Some people say their end game in Ferguson is to move to community policing and the D.A.R.E vehicle is the exact opposite and it is insensitive.

"When you have these types of vehicles, especially in schools, I am concerned about what it does to the psyche of our children. It's like a subtle type of message," says resident Mildred Clines.

The Ferguson Police Department's Humvee has all the markings of the D.A.R.E. program on it, including Daren the Lion. It's a big change from the old van the department used in the past. But for the people who spoke to News 4, who are a mix of residents, teachers and parents, the Humvee brings back bad memories of August, 2014, when former Ferguson officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown.

"I am an adult and I know how it affected me seeing what I saw with those Humvees and all those military vehicles that came through, and now you are going to parade this type of vehicle around our children?" says Clines.

Francescha Griffin adds, "Why wasn't enough thought put into whether a Humvee should be out in front of our children."

Police chief Delrish Moss says in a statement, "the vast majority of Ferguson understands that this was intended as a positive message in our efforts to get the attention of children. To assume that our purpose was anything else is flat out wrong and shameful."

But the people against the Humvee say it is shameful and they plan on taking their concerns to city hall so their voices are heard.

"Now that you're hearing from citizens, people who are concerned in the community, what I would like to see is them to take the Humvee back," says Clines.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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