“We’re going to have our own tank.”

| February 16, 2012 | 57 Comments

Well, not if the residents of Keene, New Hampshire get their say, the police department won’t get their own tank…well….not a tank but a Grumman F8F Lenco Bearcat like the one that’s pictured above that Nashville, TN PD owns.

More than 100 people packed a Feb. 9 meeting of a city council committee, nearly all to oppose equipping the police deaprtment, with about 45 sworn officers, with a Bearcat. One speaker quoted in the Keene Sentinel was Roberta Mastrogiovanni, owner of a newsstand downtown. “It promotes violence,” Mastrogiovanni said. “We should promote more human interaction rather than militarize. I refuse to use money for something this unnecessary when so many people in our community are in need.”

Since the 1990s, the Pentagon has made military equipment available to local police departments for free or at steep discounts. This, along with drug war-related policies, has spurred a trend toward a more militarized domestic police force in America. Law enforcement and elected officials have argued for years that better-armed, high-powered police departments are needed to fight the war on drugs.

I don’t think the Bearcat influences criminals to commit crimes they might otherwise not commit, but I’d like to hear the PD’s justification for purchasing this armored vehicle. It was bought with a $285,933 grant from the Homeland Security Department, so while we’re jacking up healthcare costs for veterans and slashing our national defense capabilities, Homeland Security is handing out armored vehicles t local police departments. I wonder what has happened in Keene lately that justifies this purchase. Have the meth labs been fortified? Deer hunters getting out of control?

There’s a reason that the military can’t operate inside the US and for the same reasons we don’t need a police force that’s armed like the military.

Category: Who knows

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  1. Thanks but no tanks, Keene! - Free Keene | February 18, 2012
  1. UpNorth says:

    Yeah, Sparky, but ________(name any city) has one, we need one, is the mentality that clouds most of the administrators’ thinking in everything that pertains to “grants”.
    And, agreed on actually trying to do something in the community. Everyone, unfortunately, has their share of asshats. http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/muskegon_county/donald-bayne-arraign-baby-beat-020612

  2. kmayhew says:

    I don’t get the police sometimes, while in Baghdad raiding houses and doing patrols back in 2004 we did’nt even have vehicles like these. Best thing we had were M1024 Humvee’s.

  3. kmayhew says:

    All our standard military equipment was good enough for us.

  4. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    Jacobite, you’re right. I didn’t think of Pima, Pinal, Cochise or Yuma counties. They could use something but I would think more along the lines of an LAV or Bradley. Something more suited to the desert terrain. This thing is definitely urban.

  5. Aroberts says:

    I live in Cochise County. Sierra Vista posted their PDs Saracen for sale a few months ago. The most action it saw was the annual Saracen pull for charity.

  6. jerry920 says:

    I am going to throw my 2 cents in, just because I can. The problem with a militarized police force is 2 fold.

    1. Lack of resources for training. The police simply aren’t funded well enough to provide adequate training to those who would be assigned to SWAT/HRT, whatever you call them. To be trained properly a team would have to expend 1000’s of rounds of ammunition to become proficient with their weapons and train for hundreds of hours. We’ve all watched too many videos of trigger happy SWAT teams emptying magazines to subdue a lone gunman.

    2. A “Use it or lose it” philosophy. The arrival of a heavily armed SWAT team on a no knock warrant can turn a simple arrest into death and chaos. I lived in L.A. during the S.L.A. fiasco. SWAT teams were using M16’s and expended hundreds of rounds willy-nilly into a standard wooden structure. Needless to say most of the rounds passed through and the officers on the other side thought the rounds were coming from inside the house and returned fire. It’s a wonder no Police were killed in the standoff. I cringe when I see SWAT teams carrying M4’s into a 2×4 studded house.

  7. Old Trooper says:

    @56: Someone is finally getting smart about such things and there has been a lot of development of frangible rounds in 5.56 for Spec ops going into areas where ricochets and confined areas don’t mix (it was developed by the operators, themselves), so I think it would be good for LEOs so that SWAT/HRT don’t shoot up the entire neighborhood from inside the house they just busted into.

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