More Bearcats

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

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Seems that the Department of Homeland Security is handing out grants for armored personnel carriers like parade candy. And of course, since most places they’re giving the grants to aren’t likely terrorist targets, the military-grade vehicles are then used for drug policing. But then, the federal government believes drug use and terrorism are basically the same thing. So it’s really all the same war, isn’t it?

Readers Nick Schweitzer and T. Edwards send articles of more municipalities acquiring Bearcats or like armored vehicles, including Milwaukee, Lake County, Illinois, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, Spokane, Washington, and Canyon County, Idaho.

This article, about the new Bearcat available in Eue Claire, Wisconsin says it all:

The vehicle is designed for cases where the threat of weapons or explosive devices could create a vulnerable situation for tactical, or SWAT, teams.

“It’s nice, but I hope we never have to use it,” said Sue Miller, a member of Eau Claire County’s Judiciary and Law Enforcement Committee.

Five similar vehicles housed in Dane, Oneida, La Crosse, Douglas and Winnebago counties serve other regions of the state.

Notice how quickly “I hope we never have to use it” turns into…

Likely scenarios for the vehicle’s use would be some drug searches and barricaded people armed with weapons, he said.

An armored truck isn’t necessary for all situations where SWAT teams are used, Matysik said.

“But because it’s available, we’ll probably use it just to be cautious,” he said.

If you see a tank roll into your neighborhood in the coming years, now you’ll know why.

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