Dozens Say: 'No War Vehicle for Keene Police'

Residents of Keene are protesting a plan by their city's police chief to buy an armored military assault vehicle. Keene is home to around 23,000 people and is surrounded by miles of forestland and farmland with only occasional houses. A photo of the tank-like vehicle is at:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7009/6466601767_2a976fff9a.jpg

More photo are available by going to www.google.com and clicking "images" then entering "LENCO BearCat Special Missions Public Safety Vehicle."

At the January 26 Keene city council meeting, activists submitted a petition signed by 144 people opposing the purchase of the war vehicle. Some of the signers attended the meeting. One held a sign that said, "No BearCat," according to a report in the Keene Sentinel newspaper.

Over 100 people called and e-mailed city councilor Terry Clark to oppose the purchase, the report said. Clark is opposing the war vehicle. Other councilors appear to support it.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has offered to reimburse the Keene police department for the cost of the assault vehicle.

The council voted to schedule a public hearing on the matter to be held on February 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the city council meeting room, Clark told the Valley Post. He can be reached by phone at (603) 661-8347 or at tmclark@ci.keene.nh.us

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2/11/12 UPDATE: On February 9, more than 50 people spoke in opposition to the war vehicle at a city council committee meeting, according to the Keene Sentinel. More than 100 people were at the meeting. Most of the people who spoke at the meeting opposed the vehicle. The full council will make a decision soon, council members said.

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