Keene, NH Police Take Delivery of Controversial Armored Vehicle

I have lived in Keene for the past nineteen years, and let me tell you: there is no need for a Bearcat. It seems that an overwhelming majority of Keene residents feel the same way. Thanks, but no tanks!  -Kate

The Union Leader reports:

Keene, NH – After a controversial vote to accept Homeland Security funds stolen money last spring for the purchase of the town’s SWAT vehicle, the Keene police department placed its BearCat into service Tuesday.

The department took delivery of its Special Mission Rescue Vehicle from Lenco Industries on Nov. 16, however the lone piece of equipment that did not come standard on it, a piece radio, had to be installed. According to a press release, after the radio’s installation, the vehicle was delivered.

The Keene City Council voted to accept a $285,933 Homeland Security grant in December – without a public hearing – to buy the armored vehicle. Some claimed it was a waste of public tax dollars while others said it was not needed in a small town such as Keene.

After a public outcry, the Council held a vote at its March 1 meeting in City Hall. There, councilors voted 9-4 in favor of accepting the grant, defeating councilor Terry Clark’s motion to rescind the grant.

“We hope that if a situation arises I’d be glad to have it,” Keene Police Department Captain Brian Costa said Tuesday. “The hope is always that they don’t arise. That why we have police departments for when they do.”

Costa said the vehicle will be introduced to the public in the near future.


  • Chris Mallory

    Every town of 23k needs an armored fighting vehicle. Never know when those scofflaws with couches on their front porches might need to feel the might of the mailed fist of the state.

  • John Q Public

    If it was a grant, it cost Keene nothing. The money wasn’t stolen either. You guys look stupid when you intergect your bias into stories.

  • 1605

    If you think taxes aren’t stealing, try not paying them.

    In 5 years, this tank will be sitting on it’s rims, electrical system non-functioning, and rusted. Great work, “leaders of Keene”

  • Silvestri

    It’s a SWAT vehicle so…seems legit.
    I’m assuming that all video footage of the vehicle in use is media from the company that sells it or the instance in Pittsburgh.
    I also assume that the Keene city council would have a hard time justifying the cost for the poisoned gas dispenser(s) or sonic weapon on the turret.
    Stupid points for officers taking glamor pictures of themselves in gillie suits.
    Also, “Costa said the vehicle will be introduced to the public in the near future.”
    What does this mean exactly? I would have said,”…and we hope that there is never a situation that calls for its use.”

  • underoath

    Its incredibly easy for the people who aren’t going to be the ones getting shot at if the shit hits the fan to assume there is no need for that type of equipment.

  • DKSuddeth

    there was a majority outcry from the public AGAINST getting this vehicle. hopefully they will vote out every council member with new ones that will remove the vehicle from police inventory.


    Columbine Co. Population 24k
    Oak Creek 34k
    Birchwood WI 518
    Brookfield WI 37k
    Nickel Mines PA 3800
    Blacksburg VA 42k
    Carnation WA 1786
    Dekalb Il 43K
    Alger 403
    Covina 46K

    All small cities.. all locations of mass shootings. To throw out, “we are just a small city of 23k…nothing can go bad here” just plain stupid. Shit happens everywhere. Would you complain if your fire department got a gov’t grant for a Hazmat vehicle?

    Bottom line, it didn’t cost the city anything. And now the police have a tool that not only can benifit Keene, but could help out other area’s as well. Police have this stupid concept…if shit can happen in the next town, it can happen here. So why not prepare for the what if??

    I’m pretty sure that there has never been an active school shooter in Keene, yet I’m willing to bet that every single officer at that department has been trained on responding to an active shooter. Where is the public outcry for that?

  • shawn


    “Its incredibly easy for the people who aren’t going to be the ones getting shot at if the shit hits the fan to assume there is no need for that type of equipment.”

    It is incredibly easy for cops to decide they need all kind of equipment to use on people who might have taken too many fish that morning, or happen to live in a house that was occupied by a criminal a year earlier.

    People object to giving cops new tools because cops don’t know how to restrain themselves from their use.
    Like tasers, a tool meant as an alternative self defense weapon. Instead, it is use to torture people into doing what they want. Or shoot teen girls in the back. All while knowing they aren’t as safe as advertised.

  • T

    The citizens of Keene should be very great foul to have received such an excellent piece of equipment. While hopefully it will never be needed, if it is it will certainly save lives.

    @sud: A “volcano minority”…many of whom post on this site and openly advocate criminal behavior…is far different than a majority outcry.

  • Cheers

    John Q Public says: November 22, 2012
    If it was a grant, it cost Keene nothing. The money wasn’t stolen either. You guys look stupid when you intergect your bias into stories.


    Respectfully, it is diots like this John Q who have no clue what the hell they are posting and look like stupid trolls when they call others stupid.

    Why argue with morons Like John Q that don’t know what they are talking about …it DOES cost Keene citizens and other citizens all over the country that pay taxes…. putting this country more into dept to kowtow to the Chinese to borrow more money to pay off the national debt interests..

    Your tea bagging party biase is so evident when you post something here “Q” dude.

  • Aaron

    If there were a compelling need for this kind of vehicle, it would’ve been apparent. By the same logic used by the police and council, why not ask the DoD for a nuclear warhead? You hope it will never be needed, but if the need arises, wouldn’t it be nice to have one?

    Maybe I should be allowed to have fully automatic weapons and anti-tank rocket launchers. ‘Cause you just never know. If the authorities provide me with weapons of mass destruction, I promise I’ll only use them on foreign invaders and rogue agents of the state. Why is my argument any less ridiculous than Keene’s government’s? I can be just as responsible – probably moreso – than the authorities.


    Shawn… It is incredibly easy for cops to decide they need all kind of equipment to use on people who might have taken too many fish that morning, or happen to live in a house that was occupied by a criminal a year earlier. If it’s OK for you to use the random and INfrequent events to say we should have one. Why can’t we use the random, BUT FREQUENT acts of violence to justify having one??

    Aaron. at my department we do have fully auto m-4’s and mp5’s.

    But I do like how going to the extremes is the reply as to why they shouldn’t have one…. If you wanted to truly argue against it, post the crime stats etc. We have an armored vehicle at our disposal AND it’s been used!!! And I work in a city with LESS THAN 10K people!!! We had to use it to rescue/evacuate people during an active shooter.

  • charile tallman

    The money to pay for this Armored Personal Carrier did not come from no where. If it came from the federal government it came from someone or off a printing press. All of this is theft.

    Maybe your little community needs a M1 Tank, mortars, or a flame thrower.

    Keep beating the fear drum, and arming yourself against the citizenry. It’s not going to work. I see trials at the end of this charade.

  • Glenn

    Given the great professionalism and restraint shown by modern law enforcement, the Keene PD obtaining an armored vehicle should create any problems.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • Chris Mallory

    Of course the badge fluffers and government thugs come out in favor of using stolen money to buy unneeded and worthless toys for the government thugs to play with.

    How exactly is an armored car going to stop a school shooter? It isn’t. That requires men with enough balls to go into the building and engage the shooter. As we have seen countless times, the cops will sit in the parking lot playing with themselves while the shooter kills and victims bleed to death.

  • Common Sense

    Didn’t someone from Keene just get sentenced for plotting to use a WMD to destroy a bridge? I think Timothy McVeigh was from a small town wasn’t he?.

  • 1605

    That tank won’t do a god damn thing to stop a “WMD” or a mass shooting.

    It’s a tool of the oppressor to show the proles that the heel of the government’s boot hovers over our heads and can be brought down at any time.

    Please show me 10 examples of when these tanks have been used to intervene in a crime. If you can, I’ll be you that the light from a flashlight would have had the same impact.

    I get the feeling the trolls here cheered when those tanks and troops lit the Branch Davidian compound on fire. “Those assholes were resisting the efforts of the government and deserved it”

  • Common Sense

    How this?

    BearCat to the Rescue!
    By Best Blogs
    Published: Saturday, September 4th, 2010
    Yesterday (Thursday 9/2) morning I accompanied Mayor Bill Bogaard and City Manager Michael Beck to the Pasadena Police Department for a briefing on our new BearCat Armored Vehicle.
    Its purpose is to preserve the safety of police officers and citizens during potentially deadly incidents.
    Purchased with $265,000 in grant funding, the BearCat was delivered to the Pasadena Police Department recently. It’s the only one of its kind in the San Gabriel Valley and is a regional SWAT vehicle. So Pasadena owns it, but it is lent to other jurisdictions in the SGV as needed.
    Within hours of our briefing, the BearCat was used in Monrovia during a seven-hour standoff between a car thief and Arcadia, Monrovia and Pasadena police after the suspect led police on a chase through a couple of jurisdictions.
    You’ll notice a portion of our BearCat on the right side of this photo (at right), taken by Terry Miller, that I borrowed from his article on the Arcadia Weekly website
    Lt. Dewar told me today via e-mail that the BearCat helped transport officers from various agencies plus equipment to the scene. It also helped some very frightened bystanders get away from the potentially deadline scene.
    “It turned out that eight people had locked themselves in a business nearby and were afraid to leave the building since the suspect was in close proximity,” he wrote. “Our officers drove the BearCat to the rear door of the business; all eight people climbed in and were driven safely out of the danger area.”

    Texas cops fired on with AK-47, saved by BearCat
    The SWAT commander says there is no doubt the vehicle saved lives that day
    Breaking Police News
    with Justin Cox
    TYLER, Texas — A murderer fired more than 35 rounds from an AK-47 on cops in Tyler, Texas last month. Thanks to a recently purchased Lenco BearCat police vehicle, not one of the officers was killed, or even injured.
    The killer fired more than 35 rounds at the Lenco Bearcat G3.
    The officers were investigating the house of Howard Granger, a suspect in the murder of Benjamin Gill Clements – the son of a former Texas governor.
    When cops arrived, Granger opened fire on them, unloading 36 rounds into the Lenco BearCat G3. A sniper killed him with one shot shortly after and Clement’s body was found in a shallow grave on his property.
    The vehicle, a Lenco BearCat G3, had only 500 miles on it at the time and was a controversial purchase in the community prior to the incident. Some accused the department of spending too much on “something that will never get used,” according to Tyler PD SWAT Commander Rusty Jacks.
    He says there is no doubt the vehicle saved lives that day.
    “It allowed officers to approach the residence safely and protected them under heavy fire from a very high-powered rifle,” he said.

  • John Q Public

    Common Sense, stop it. You know its no good putting up REAL stories that the copblockers are not going to like. All Chris and 1605 do is bitch and complain about “government oppression.” Both have no feakin’ idea what its like to be oppressed. Maybe they should have visited Iraq while Saddam was in charge to really understand oppression.

  • 1605

    Color me not impressed. I have a friend with a $150 dollar hammer, I can pound more nails than him on any day with my $30 hammer.

    Those para-military hoodlums would have managed fine without having spent the $500,000.00 on 2 Bearcats.

    If I live long enough, I won’t have to travel to the much heralded middle east to see real oppression, it’s coming to us, wrapped in a flag, carrying a bible and telling me I need to be kept safe.

  • underoath

    Hahaha “show me examples, damn it!”

    “Wait…you have examples? Damn it! Those examples don’t matter because I don’t agree with those vehicles!! So, HA!”

    Good job, 1605! You really showed them!

  • 1605

    Maybe my post was too long, here’s what I said,

    “Please show me 10 examples of when these tanks have been used to intervene in a crime. If you can, I’ll be you that the light from a flashlight would have had the same impact.”

    Good job to you, you really showed me… that you struggle with reading comprehension.

  • John Q Public

    1605, if you fix your sentence structure, it would be easier to comprehend. “I’ll be you that the light from a flashlight would have had the same impact.” The funny thing is you had a chance to fix it in your second post and you didn’t. And I think the two examples common showed you was plenty enough to make you look pretty foolish, even though you can’t comprehend how foolish you look.

  • Glenn

    Given the rabid hyperventilation being exhibited by the numerous shill names here, I would suggest CopBlock play this story up to maximum levels. I half expect common sense and john q pubic to run off to the corner and start pumping each other furiously.

    Regardless, if you are taking flak, you must be over the target. Keep it up!

  • Charlie Tallman

    John Q,

    Why don’t you shoot everyone in the country who isn’t wearing a costume or a badge. They are all the enemies right?

    By the way Tim Mcveigh was a war hero, and won a bronze star. He was an approved violent person as long as he pointed his gun at ‘murica’s enemies.

    As far as the Bridge blowing up incident. How can you call sending out agent provocateurs out to illicit and enable violent acts, to justify a war on terror, really stopping terror. Inciting feeble minded people, is not terror fighting. It’s propaganda on a 1985 scale.

    If you want to see a startling sting, how about letting me go into a police station undercover with a badge and a costume, and try to get cops to kill black people or illegals and cover it up.

    Imagine how many officers, will have more than there small penis size to worry about.

  • Common Sense

    Aside from your aged hero worship of McVeighm lets be clear, he was a self proclaimed terrorist, murderer and rightfully executed by the state for the killing of more than 165 people, including 19 children. Tried and convicted by a jury of his peers, he chose not to appeal and was put to death in 2001.

    ….oh, and he was caught within 2 hours by a traffic cop.

  • Charlie Tallman

    HA HA …

    Hero traffic cops. Let’s be frank that 99% is of all cops do. Sit in their car and collect road taxes. Oh yea I forgot, and eat free fast food at very extended lunches and breaks. We see them. Pretty much lazy union scum.

    Every time you whip up the public safety bug a boo, when asking for fancy toys, how about you ask for a PT test and a weigh in for members of your own criminal gang.

    The fat cop is threat to public safety, he loses all his super powers when he has to waddle out from behind the wheel of his tax paid, take home car.

    I had someone break into my garage and steal a chainsaw, and an air compressor. I didn’t even bother calling the cops. Why?, because the last time I reported something stolen the cop was very obese and obviously annoyed I called him away from his feeding trough, no investigation as usual. Why because he couldn’t do the job from behind the wheel of his fancy new Charger.

    The only crime that law enforcement cares about is sniffing around cars for whiffs or booze or weed while giving out traffic tickets. How does it feel to be the state’s chubby road tax collectors.

    How about it lardy leo’s, tell us your favorite restaurant to get free fast food?

  • Common Sense

    ….probably your mom’s house if one had to guess..

    A sloppy joe, chips and a handjob – and at no cost.

  • Ecwforever

    That’s what I get at cops’ houses from their wives. While Officer Fatass is sitting in his car screwing the taxpayers, I’m screwing them!

  • LadyMaverik

    It seems to me that they are bringing this equipment in for several reasons.

    1) for any long time New Englander, you all must notice the climate change. You may ask what does climate change have to do with a military style armored vehicle. As you may most have noticed it is not as cold as it used to be. It is currently November 30th 2012 and we have only received very minute amounts of snow. Last year I recall getting snow on Halloween and more than what we have now. Also take into consideration the unforseen earthquake we had and also this devastating hurricane. Well to put it into terms, we are facing a massive polar shift. As of now our polarity of earth has already shifted 10 degrees. This has been proven by various flight command centers making it harder for planes to land. When our polar shift becomes imminent our current area will rise way above sea level but will also create much distress, as we will see this happen all around the world and not be able to help.

    2) CopBlocking and police state! This is not just a recent unraveling of society this has been around for decades, however, now people are opening there eyes. I can say not all police are bad. I myself have 2 police officers who are and were police officers. Our household was full of brutality and power trips but also love (contradicting I know–but they are my family). Because my parents are and were police officers I have come to know many of them in NH VT NY and even Canada. I have even met George Bush JR and some other electoral candidates some years back in Washington DC. I know the pro’s and cons of police. Some believe they have a higher right because they wear a badge…before no one said anything and now that people do the police feel the need to arm themselves. I don’t see these B.E.A.R.C.A.T.S anywhere else in NH so to say it is for our protection I believe is a farce. I believe initially it is in this location because of the CopBlock for Keene. The only good this vehicle will impose is when weather strikes but even then why is honing a frantic and worried crowd into submission a good idea under duress. This makes no sense. Fear is making us strike back, knowledge of people is growing immensely and attributing to unprecedented speech from both sides.

    3) We are the Live Free or Die state and most of us hold true to that slogan alone!

    I don’t care if people think I am off-base with my opinions. I do care for people to stop pressing stupid-petty issues from both sides. We are all humans and we are facing something much greater than you and me! 23K–try billions! “Love thy neighbor as thyself” ‘What happens today, changes tomorrow’

  • LadyMaverik

    I AGREE 100% with Charlie Tallman in regards to most of the time police only act when it suits them. I have been witness to this on many different occasions with different people.

  • Grammar Police

    I am a few months behind and just saw this article. Regardless of the usefulness or waste of the vehicle purchased the majority of the people who posted comments here wrote them filled with poor spelling and other grammatical mistakes. In my opinion the government does suck most of the time but to see post after post claiming to know what is best for that town, our country, and the law enforcement officers is pretty funny coming from seemingly illiterate people. No offense intended, honestly. To put out a good argument and be taken seriously it is great to project intelligence. Again, I don’t mean to offend but many people will laugh at a post and the person who posts their opinion for this reason even when the reader agrees.

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