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.



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