Home » News » Public Safety
Keene councilman says $285,933 BearCat courtesy of Uncle Sam 'a waste of money'
Sorry, no question available
The Lenco BearCat - short for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck - stirred controversy when Keene accepted a $285,933 federal Homeland Security grant to purchase it last year. In addition to cost, worries included the potential for police misuse of the 19,000-pound vehicle.
"It's a waste of money," Clark said this month. "It was a waste of money then, and it's still a waste.
"I guess it hasn't cost us much to maintain it, but almost $300,000 for a vehicle that has been used mostly for training, on two false-alarm calls and as a nice truck on Safety Day? Our government is so cash-strapped, there are much more important things this money could be spent on."
An armored SWAT vehicle was also dispatched the scene of a violent shootout in Greenland in April 2012 in which Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was killed and four other officers injured. The gunman, suspected drug dealer Cullen Mutrie, also killed his ex-girlfriend, Brittany Tibbetts, and himself in the incident.
Portsmouth police Detective Lt. Michael Maloney, commander of SERT, said his team doesn't keep a written account of how many times the vehicle is used, saying only that it's deployed whenever the team is mobilized. He said it is deployed at least twice a month for training exercises.
Keene police train for several scenarios with the BearCat, including crowd control during a riot, said Keene Police Chief Kenneth Meola. The BearCat can shield officers from glass bottles or other projectiles. Other training sessions simulated using it to help evacuate people caught in harm's way during a standoff.
Keene's BearCat can be used by other town's in Cheshire County. These towns are asked to sign a pact with Keene police and pay $100 in yearly dues for maintenance costs.
Mayor Lane said Keene officials are happy not to have to deploy it.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Lost Massachusetts hikers found safe in NH - 0
- City police schedule community meeting - 1
- Missing Massachusetts woman returns home - 0
- Nashua man's condition upgraded after Hudson bicycle-car collision - 0
- Missing autistic Maine teen found in Jefferson woods - 0
- Nashua bicyclist hurt in collision with car - 0
- Three injured in Route 16 accident in Ossipee - 0
- State fire marshal urges eventual ban on all fireworks - 23
- Manchester welcomes 14 new police recruits - 7
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Speeding stop leads to drug and alcohol charges in Hollis - 0
- Allen Lessels on Motor Sports: Youngsters eye NHMS - 0
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Manchester's bike culture shifts into high gear - 0
- Ignoring Lyme: What are state, towns doing? - 1
- Dave D'Onofrio's Sox Beat: Red Sox makeover underway - 1
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: MacDonald has NHMS track experience - 0
- Drew Cline: Scott Brown plans to win over NH one handshake at a time - 7
- Anthony M. Kay - 0
- Walsh paces Sweeney Post past Laconia - 0
132-mph street racers blow by trooper in Nashua, one of two arrested; motorcyclist arrested on I-93 doing 107 mph
Police say Manchester woman arrested for punching ex-boyfriend during custody exchange in Walmart parking lot
Bikers say under-30 generation isn't interested, and can't afford many of the top motorcycles
Mount Washington College to close 2 campuses
Ban fireworks? Get serious
GOP criticizes Shaheen over gas tax
Sentence fragment: Coco's cuckoo release
Ayotte calls again for FCC reform