Wednesday Waste: Thanks, But No Tanks
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Would you consider the purchase of an armored vehicle for a pumpkin festival to be part of terrorism prevention? The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seems to think it is. The Urban Security Initiative, the largest terror-prevention grant program under the Department of Homeland Security, gave the town of Keene, New Hampshire, $285,933 to buy a BearCat armored vehicle.
Keene has a population of 23,000 and had experienced just one homicide over the two years prior to the purchase. The grant application listed the 2004 Pumpkin Festival and the 2007 Red Sox riots as examples of situations where the armored vehicle would have been useful. The city of Keene told DHS the vehicle would be used to patrol similar events in the future.
“Do I think al-Qaeda is going to target Pumpkin Fest? No, but are there fringe groups that want to make a statement? Yes,” said Kenneth Meola, Keene Police Chief.
On the other hand, New Hampshire residents felt that the purchase of the BearCat was unnecessary and a misuse of funding. They even developed their own motto – “thanks, but no tanks.”