Home » News » Public Safety
Keene officials say they will buy armored vehicle
Keene police take delivery of controversial armored vehicle
BearCat brouhaha revs up Keene
KEENE — The LENCO BearCat Special Missions armored vehicle is coming to Keene, city councilors told a gathering of citizens wearing “Thanks but No Tanks” T-shirts at Thursday night's meeting.
Councilors provoked an outcry in December when they accepted a $285,933 Homeland Security grant to buy the armored vehicle without a public hearing.
Residents rallied, calling the purchase a waste of federal tax dollars; some said it would militarize the city's police force.
“The bottom line is this is not about public safety,” Councilor Terry Clark said Thursday. “This vehicle is not going to save one life.”
Clark was the sole vote against accepting the grant in December, and it was at his request that a public hearing on the matter was held Feb. 9.
On Thursday, Clark moved to take a vote to rescind the acceptance of the grant. Four councilors voted for his motion to reconsider; nine voted against it.
Councilor Bettina Chadbourne agreed with Clark, and voted to reconsider.
“I feel it feeds fear,” she said of the BearCat. “I just don't think we have the level of crime as L.A., New York, or Miami.”
Councilor Janis Manwaring said as a therapist, she considers it a dangerous time. Many people are stressed out, out of work and homeless.
“I have a lot of people asking me why a middle-schooler in Walpole would take a gun to school and shoot it,” Janis said, referring to a student who shot himself in the head in the school cafeteria last month.
Councilor P. Dale Pregent said the vehicle would be valuable to the city.
“Yes, we are little Keene, New Hampshire, but we are not exempt from disasters,” he said.
After the vote, frustrated residents — many carrying signs protesting the BearCat's purchase — filed out of the room.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Driving lesson turns into car accident in Laconia - 0
- Fire destroys vacant Berlin building - 0
- NY man stable after destroying classic Porsche 911 in Route 16 wreck - 3
- Investigators seek cause of Conn. train crash - 0
- Berlin man dies while kayaking - 0
- Man seriously hurt in North Country crash of 1967 Porsche - 0
- Teen hurt in Amherst boating crash - 0
- Ceremony for fallen police officers honors service and sacrifice - 2
- Amtrak suspends New York-Boston service after two trains collide in Conn.; up to 60 hurt - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Rabid raccoons in Hanover raise ‘rabies season’ concerns - 0
- Wanted fugitive arrested by U.S. Marshals in Manchester - 0
- Gregg named CEO of Wall Street lobbying group - 1
- Portsmouth woman faces up to life in prison in fatal overdose - 0
- Mass. sex offender indicted for sex assault on child at Plaistow Walmart - 0
- Home care worker indicted for kidnapping, sexual assault of male client - 0
- Police say house guest helped himself to credit card - 0
- Police say women were smoking crack with 2-year-old in car - 0
- Tools, copper piping stolen from construction trailers in Manchester - 0
Town may have to fix grave error
UNH hires firm to redesign one of its logos
Disengaged: Obama's lousy excuse
Chechen decries Boston attack