Despite tight budgets at all levels of government, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is still giving local law enforcement agencies military vehicles. According to a report in The Huffington Post, a small town in New Hampshire was set to receive an armored personnel vehicle before one local resident launched a petition drive to block the acquisition.

The Keene, NH, police department was going to get its own Lenco BearCat, a vehicle the town's mayor reportedly described as a "tank." However, citizens in the town of 23,000 revolted, according to the article, with nearly 100 of them packing a city council meeting in opposition. Critics said the vehicle promoted violence, and cited a promotional video for the BearCat that shows gun-wielding cops using one of the armored trucks to knock down the door of a house and spray tear gas inside. The issue is scheduled to come up again at next month's meeting.

A $285,933 grant from DHS would pay for the eight-ton military truck. The Huffington Post cites a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting stating that $34 billion of similar grants have been issued since Sept. 11, 2001.

A Lenco spokesman criticized some of the citizens who spoke out against his firm's vehicle, calling them "crazy" and saying, "When a Lenco Bearcat shows up at a crime scene where a suicidal killer is holding hostages, it doesn't show up with a cannon. It shows up with a negotiator. Our trucks save lives," according to the article.

Click past the jump to watch the Lenco BearCat promotional video, featuring AC-DC's "Thunderstruck."


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  • 187 Comments
      ammca66564
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is what happens when Uncle Sam gives away free money: small towns in New Hampshire suddenly identify a pressing need for a riot control vehicle. But wouldn't you want a free Lenco Bearcat if your Uncle Sam would give you one?
        Kumar
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ammca66564
        I'd take one too of course. You hit the nail on the head pretty much. It's not just riot vehicles either. Over the years, many cities and towns have bought ridiculous unneeded items because they didn't want to 'waste' grant money. Gas masks, armored vehicles, etc, at the same time that 911 calling systems are still stuck in the stone ages.
        Frank
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ammca66564
        Never let a free Lenco Bearcat go to waste! Sincerely, Rahm Emanuel
      Nickoo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stop the militarization of the police.
        José J. Soto
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nickoo
        It's an armored vehicle, not a tank. I don't see any cannons sticking out of it.
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lenco's got a gooood lobbyist.
        MichaelMM
        • 2 Years Ago
        @diffrunt
        Ain't that the truth. I should get a job on K-Street. Of course a job like that must require not to be able to se yourself in the mirror. I guess I am not qualified.
      vc-10
      • 2 Years Ago
      Quote: "When a Lenco Bearcat shows up at a crime scene where a suicidal killer is holding hostages, it doesn't show up with a cannon. It shows up with a negotiator. Our trucks save lives" And a Police Crown Victoria of course, is unable to carry negotiators. Obviously. They need a massive armoured car to be carried around in. This is madness. Well done to the people of Keene for doing something about it!
      Dat Nguyen
      • 2 Years Ago
      I want one. when are they going to make a consumer one. The Zombies will come one day.
      clquake
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some lawmaker must owe the manufacturer a favor or something. You might need this in say, Iraq & Afghanistan, but this is a blatant misuse of tax payer funds, all in the name of "security".
        • 2 Years Ago
        @clquake
        [blocked]
      The Truth
      • 2 Years Ago
      "They are gearing up for violence, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT" -Ron Paul
      Swede
      • 2 Years Ago
      Waste of taxpayer money.
      hondosan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sure! If a negotiator would show up in any other car, the hostages would be as good as dead! Negotiators are only as good as the Bearcat they are delivered in!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      amenhammer
      • 2 Years Ago
      What an incredible waste of money on top of further counterproductive militarization of the police.
      David
      • 2 Years Ago
      I suppose is doesn't matter that never in the history of this community of just 23,000 has there been a suicidal killer holding hostages, and never is it likely to happen. Stupid is as stupid does and given the current police policy of "shoot first and ask questions later," it's likely to get even dumber. Be afraid, be very afraid!
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