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
- Derry firefighters commended; fire investigation continues - 0
- Deadly crash driver: 'I was distracted' - 0
- Tactical team takes man, 71, into custody - 0
- Hudson rider misses jump, crashes bike - 0
- Injured hiker carried to safety off Mount Israel in Sandwich - 0
- Three-alarm fire heavily damages Franklin store - 0
- 74-year-old woman suffers serious injuries in hit-and-run incident in Windham - 0
- Grandmother charged in ATV crash with tot - 1
- ATV flips in Alton with 3-year-old on board - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Nashua man accused of cutting wife’s throat committed to psychiatric hospital - 1
- Two may have stabbed each other in Concord parking garage incident, police say - 0
- Manchester joyride in a stolen truck lands two in handcuffs - 0
- High School Football Power Poll: Some shuffling in the middle - 0
- License revocations for DWI announced - 0
- Pamela Diamantis: USNH’s tuition freeze offer is good for NH’s future - 1
- Crosstown Variety Store robbed in Manchester - 0
- Dave D'Onofrio: A well-earned celebration for Sox. - 0
- A’s earn their way into postseason play - 0
Dover man's nightmare lesson for everyone
Fall hikers throughout NH put on notice
'Strange ideas' Banning guns made in NH
Personhood Controversial? Really?
License revocations for DWI announced
Racism in Lincoln? Looks more like ignorance