News that San Diego Unified School District has acquired an MRAP, or mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, is adding a new facet to discussions about the practice of giving surplus military equipment to civilian agencies.

The six-wheel Caiman MRAP has an official value of around $733,000. But the San Diego school district paid only about $5,000 to transport it, according to, a website that partners with NPR member station KPBS.

As inewsource's Joe Yerardi reported:

"The school district got the MRAP for free as part of the U.S. Department of Defense's Excess Property Program. The program, commonly referred to as the 1033 Program, sends unneeded military equipment like weapons and body armor to local police forces for no cost."

The program was in the news recently for its role providing law enforcement agencies with heavy armored equipment like that rolled out by police in Ferguson, Mo., to confront demonstrators.

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