After a series of violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, VA, cities across the U.S. are recognizing that big vehicles are an effective and cheap way to keep crowds safe.
Centerville police parked garbage trucks and dump trucks around people protesting a confederate monument in August. Public Information Officer John Davis says the rally was supposed to have been in Franklin and was moved to Centerville at the last minute.
"We had under two days to plan for this and when we reached out to the organizers of the rally we were politely told 'We don't collaborate with police.' So, we were really flying blind in what to even expect."
Police used the trucks to funnel traffic down to one lane in each direction in addition to other vehicles acting as barricades.
Davis says the city also used hard barricades during its Americana Street Festival. "It's a pretty common tactic for law enforcement to use because we don't have the resources," he says. "It's just not in municipal budgets."