Home » News » Public Safety
Keene officials say they will buy armored vehicle
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
- Assisted living facility proposed for Londonderry - 0
- Plaistow police chief passes away after battle with cancer - 0
- Fire damages building at Jaffrey transfer station - 0
- Manchester chief now one of 2 finalists for Somerville post - 0
- Coco is back in jail, but maybe not for long - 0
- Jaffrey fire at transfer station - 0
- Manchester police chief a finalist for Somerville job - 2
- Officials probe fire at Jaffrey trash sorting building - 0
- Missing Conway girl's mother not giving up hope - 2
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Portland Sea Dogs get past NH Fisher Cats in righty’s first AA start of season - 0
- Keene Swamp Bats edge Sanford in NECBL action - 0
- Manchester's Hanover St. block party kicks off block party season - 0
- Little, MacDonald 1-2 in wild K&N 100 in Loudon - 0
- Kyle Busch focused leading up to Camping World RV Sales 301 - 0
- Somersworth man charged in three incidents - 0
- Hosts hoping for extended Little League district final - 0
- Manchester forums will allow public to question principal finalists - 0
- NH Supreme Court: Indigent woman entitled to state-funded services - 0
Outrageous waste: You overpaid by how much?
Another View -- Tiler Eaton: The Northern Pass project would help, not hurt, NH's economy
Coco is back in jail, but maybe not for long