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Cops With Tanks

Written by Gary North on February 22, 2012


“We’re going to have our own tank.”

That’s what Keene, N.H., Mayor Kendall Lane whispered to Councilman Mitch Greenwald during a December city council meeting.

It’s not quite a tank. But the quaint town of 23,000 — scene of just two murders since 1999 — had just accepted a $285,933 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to purchase a Bearcat, an eight-ton armored personnel vehicle made by Lenco Industries Inc.

A local critic of the deal got it placed on hold. But, in town after town, this is spreading.


Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the war on terror has accelerated the trend toward militarization. Homeland Security hands out anti-terrorism grants to cities and towns, many specifically to buy military-grade equipment from companies like Lenco. In December, the Center for Investigative Reporting reported that Homeland Security grants totalled $34 billion, and went to such unlikely terrorism targets as Fargo, N.D.; Fon du Lac, Wisc.; and Canyon County, Idaho. The report noted that because of the grants, defense contractors that long served the Pentagon exclusively have increasingly turned looked to police departments, hoping to tap a “homeland security market” expected to reach $19 billion by 2014.

Until only recently, public and press reaction to these grants and the gear purchased with them has been positive or non-existent. Most towns obtain and use the grants without much discussion or news coverage. At most, the local paper might run a supportive story touting the police department’s new acquisition, usually without controversy. But it has been different in Keene, in part because Clark and a group of libertarian activists have made the Bearcat an issue.

This is why every county needs a blog site that monitors these sorts of things.

Local officials don’t like such criticism.

Jim Massery, the government sales manager for Pittsfield, Mass.-based Lenco, dismissed critics who wonder why a town with almost no crime would need a $300,000 armored truck. “I don’t think there’s any place in the country where you can say, ‘That isn’t a likely terrorist target,'” Massery said. “How would you know? We don’ t know what the terrorists are thinking. No one predicted that terrorists would take over airplanes on Sept. 11. If a group of terrorists decide to shoot up a shopping mall in a town like Keene, wouldn’t you rather be prepared?”

This is not some isolated event.

Many towns have purchased vehicles like the Bearcat, or obtained tanks or armored vehicles from the Pentagon, saying they need to be prepared for terror attacks or school shootings. When the University of North Carolina-Charlotte recently formed a SWAT team, for example, a police spokesman told the campus newspaper that the paramilitary gear and tactics were necessary to prevent another Columbine or Virginia Tech. Despite the heavy media coverage of campus shootings, they’re extremely rare. University of Virginia Professor Dewey Cornell, who studies violence prevention and school safety, has estimated that a typical school campus can expect to see a homicide about once every 12,000 years. So, since terror attacks and school shootings are rare, police agencies tend to use their armored vehicles for more mundane police work, like serving drug warrants.

Again, why?

Because America is moving in the wrong direction. We are headed for domestic controls in crisis.

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36 thoughts on “Cops With Tanks

  1. Jewell Trail says:

    WOW, thats just what we need for our small towns and cities. Next the police will be armed with machine guns and AK47's. That way they can control the people every where without the military because the military would not fire on their own citizens , and the federal government knows this. If we don't vote out the present administration then we the people don't have a chance in hell of surviving the great TAKE OVER.

  2. Old_Smart_Guy says:

    I agree bullrider. I guess I need heavier equipment… not just pistols and rifles.

  3. Politicians are looking forward to the day when it finally dawns on a majority of Americans how bad they've been screwed by their own government and start taking to the streets like the Icelanders, Egyptians, Irish, Brits, Greeks…[insert nationality here] have already done.

  4. Are we not paying attention? The cops already look like the military! Helmets, body armor, automatic wepons, you can not tell the cops from a soldier!! Do you remember "Ruby Ridger"? They used tanks, helicopters, snipers to kill a 10 year old boy and his mother. They would have killed eveyone if not for the towns people in Idaho. The leader was Janet Reno, Eric Holder's sister. And they want to take my 22 rifle away.

  5. Let's turn this around Red Dawn style just theoretically. Wouldn't it be a twist if when Osbama tries to declare martial law, we turn around and mass these vehicles and weapons to form against the govt goons. In Texas alone we have enough weapons and Military equipment to take on a large force Would our Military Leaders then turn against Washington and protect the people at that point is the question? Not that I'm advocating Civil War, but I believe in the South if we rose against it, look where most of the military training and equipment are today. The South and open spaces of the Midwest, where a large percentage of Military Training Bases are, could quickly mass against the Progressives in the East. And I believe the battle lines should they form, would not be so North and South as the last Civil War we had. The only advantage Barry The Kenyan would have would be the red buttons of nuclear bombs. How scary is all this folks. The Commies would not be coming from the North and South, but from The East! I pray our Military at that point would figure out which side they were truly on and would mount an offensive to finally turn the tide of Communism from our country.

  6. Read coming of third Reich how Hitler got power when you see how far down that path we are .we record history to learn from it. and yet we refuse to believe it can happen uniformed people will always be ruled over informed people will lead were do you stand

  7. So "they" don't think that having a 'tank' makes them even more appealing as a terrorist target? Just think what fun a terrorist could have with their very own tank? It can just see it now, they over run the police station (and in some podunk towns that would be pretty easy to do with a relatively small team). They 'acquire' the tank, (assuming they learned to drive it at a terror camp somehwere, and also assuming the tank isn't out patrolling the 3000 peaceful, non-violent resisdents., and then take the tank on a seek and destroy suicide mission. Great idea feds. How long until November? Please for goodness sake America, WAKE UP!

  8. Johnny Reb says:

    Ronnie Thompson, former Mayor of Macon, Georgia, was way ahead of his time. He personally drove a tank, as Mayor, to quell civil unrest in the year 1970! Read about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronnie_Thompson_(Geo….

  9. Schools and Universities would be safer with some teachers and students legally carrying concealed firearms. This Militia could end an armed attack before it gets out of hand and prevent many more. Exercising our Second Ammendment – imagine that. We don't need no stinkin' tanks !

  10. Obama claimed, in 2008, to wanting a civilian army just as well-funded and well-trained as the military. In his July, 2008, speech in Colorado, Obama said, ""We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." Looks like he's slowly achieving his objectives. Are we seeing the beginnings of the standing army our fore fathers warned against?

  11. BIG QUESTION: Is this being done as a pay-off to the manufacturing companies, or political hacks who support the current administration.

  12. I want to know a few things: why are we spending money we haven’t got to buy this equipment? Who are they really planning to use this equipment against? Why is the ‘war on terror’ looking much more like a war against our own people???

  13. I smell a rat here.
    My first question is why is the government pushing the sale of this equipment and second and most important, who owns this company called “Lenco”
    I bet my shirt that the company is owned by some big contributor to the Obama
    It is now time to start digging, find out and report this information to the
    general public.

  14. They are for us the citizens they know that were no happy it's comming.

  15. Remember the FEMA camps and Agenda 21. All of this has to be in place before they can put their grand plan into action. They have signed onto the small arms treaty, again under the UN, in order to releave us of our weapons thus allowing them to take over very easily.

  16. I live outside of Wichita Kansas and last year the City Counsel approved AR 15's for most patrol cops not just SWAT cops.

  17. This is more off topic than on topic, but I think everyone should look up The Battle of Athens, TN. and read what citizens and former military did to a corrupt local Government. It is a very interesting read. If I remember correctly it was in 1946.

  18. It's use full in different situations from doing a meth raid to hostage scenario to disaster relief during high winds. Palm Beach Sheriffs Office has a armored vehicle that is about the only emergency vehicle that can go out during a hurricane for rescue operations.

  19. JacobTheodore says:

    Let me tell you about where I live, Long Island, New York. This is, geographically, the largest island in North America. We comprise four counties, two of which are part of New York City. Those are presently part of a foreign district which is ruled by a short, would-be monarch called Bloomberg. I live in the eastern part, which is composed of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and we have a population of 2.8 Million people as of the 2010 census. Our main police force in Suffolk County is the Suffolk Country Police Force, and the secondary is the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office. There is also the Nassau County Police Force. They are all local residents and they are all our neighbors, and often our friends. I would vote for the Suffolk PD as the finest police force in the country, with the other's close behind. When there are major crimes, they are nailed like lightening. Our cops are smart, tough and our neighbors. That last is the MOST important part. They have all sworn the same oath that I and many of you have, to support and defend the Constitution, and the people of this country, against all enemies, foreign and domestic.They are people of honor with a strong sense of community, who know right from wrong, and they know what illegal orders are, and will disobey illegal orders. They are our first line of defense here on the Island. Even at 2.8 million, we are an insular people and we will stand up for each other. And, the police are not alone. They have us to back them up. I used to be in the intelligence business and I tend to watch trends. Starting just after 9/11, Long Island began, quietly, to arm itself. Shotguns and to lesser degree handguns. This continued for some time and both guns and ammunition became hard to keep on the shelves.

    I have had many people, who knew I am a shooter, began to ask me what kind of a gun was good for the house. I usually told them to look at short barreled pumps with 12 gauge with #4 heavy bird-shot for housework and #4 buck for yard-work. (#4 bird-shot won't kill somebody in the next room, but will incapacitate someone in the same room). During the run-up to the 2008 elections, gun and ammunition sales went up again and appear to have leveled off again. I have made it a point over these last 10 years to ask those behind the counters about their customer demographics. One former LEO told me that it used to be just
    hunters and shooters in his favorite store, and then it changed to John Q Public filling the place.

    Long Islanders tend to be laid back, but they are not oblivious "Tea with Mussolini" people either. Everyone is prepared for natural disasters like hurricanes, power outages, and four feet of snow. We don't evacuate on Long Island, we hunker down. We clean up and rebuild afterward. We don't ask for anyone's outside help, or wait for someone to come rescue us.

    EVERYONE living on the Island on 9/11, was directly , personally, affected. Everyone lost someone, a family member, a neighbor, a co-worker,a friend, an acquaintance, ….but somebody. If we wind up with terrorists on Long Island, we will close the bridges and tunnels and it will be party time. We are equipped for terror and we are equipped for terrorists or tyrants.

    Our own military is required to disobey illegal orders, which is probably why they are now floating the idea of a National Police Force "…as well trained and as well armed as our military…" Yes, Texas is ready, and surprisingly, so is Long Island. And all of you should be pleased that your local LEO's, WHO ARE YOU FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS will have some heavy firepower.

  20. Steve sir,
    Read the FEMA loan paper work on a loan from them.
    They contain the beginning point of Agenda 21 poperty control.

  21. Anyone ever see a police tank showing up "before" a school shooting? Just how does a tank avoid another Virginia Tech or Columbine? Answer: It doesn't!

  22. Jacob, I don't want to sound like an idiot but what the heck does "LEO" stand for. I am sure that I have heard of it but just can't put it together. That's a great post you did, very agreeable with all of it. I'd like to say I couldn't beleive when I read about the armoured vehicle's in Cities and Counties, but it was very much beleivable especially with the given government we have in the WH. This also falls directly inline with the FEMA and Agenda21 program's that Obama has engaged in which in my assumption is going to be in effect come 2012 election time. Obama is not going to give up his ruling that easy, hopefully I am wrong but am prepared just in case. Semper Fi

  23. The money is FREE the town fathers would be crazy not to take it.Hey if we don't accept it the money will go to another town Be it a new extravagent school, safety complex or a tank, that's the logic or lack there of. .
    And we just keep on spending

  24. the military would not fire on their own citizens
    wo words Kent State

  25. It is indeed the militarization of the police – bribing them to discard the “protect and serve” attitude, to “the populace is the enemy” attitude. No one believes for a minute this is arming against terrorists, the terrorists have infiltrated the government, the FBI, and both political parties, as well as bribed academia to teach Islamic propaganda in the schools. Your children will be repairing you to the authorities soon.

  26. “reporting you”… stupid self-correcting “smart” phone.

  27. Welcome to a Military Industrial complex also known in laymen terms as fascism

  28. LEO= Law Enforcement Officer

  29. Take a look at what the police are doing. http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com/

  30. It's called the militarization/nationalization of local civilian law enforcement, and it's been going on for years in one form or another. Examples–the feral gummint supplied law enforcement agencies with M-16's and other automatic weapons some time ago; the feds gave monetary grants to those agencies to pay for overtime so they could create speed traps (they called it "traffic safety grants"), they have financed surveillance cameras with face-recognition capability, and plenty of other stuff that's just plain unconstitutional. But, WTH. The feds have been doing it for years, so why not local law enforcement. In a fascist nation, why are we surprised at what's happening. There has been a virtual Berlin Wall around this country for years. You'll recall, that wall was built to keep their people IN too–NOT to keep people out. Then, the coup de grace! The USA Patriot Act, or more to the point the US Constitutional Suspension Act. That POS incorporated provisions the Nazis in our gummint were trying to get in place for decades but couldn't. So they wrote it into the "Patriot Act" and rammed it through, knowing that our dunces in congress wouldn't take the time to read it. Oppression and tyranny due to lack of interest. We need Civil War II more now than ever.

  31. You just want to grab these people and shake them and say ‘Don’t you GET it? We are spending money as if it didn’t matter, on stupid things like this!’ The people who would accept such money for their town are every bit as bad as the fools in DC who send it to them.

    What they ought to to is make a national stink over it and get it onto everything from O’Reilly to 60 Minutes to any other national exposure they can. If people were aware of this it would certainly generate some negative feelings. Meanwhile, the Leftists behind our President send people to crap in the street and to be public nuisances protesting “the 1%”.

    What it all boils down to is “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” (Wizard of Oz)

  32. You're correct. That's what the DARE program is designed to do. Kids ratting out their parents and relatives to the fuzz. It worked well for Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.

  33. AnnieBee says:

    obutthead has the internment camps being readied now he's getting his armies armed and ready. I truly believe he is going to have riots started so that he can order marshall law ,he needs to be arrested for treason. He's trying his damnest to over throw our country… Wake up everybody who are still asleep…..Time is running out..God Bless America

  34. Keith Hayes says:

    Guys, sorry to burst your bubble here, the POLICE are on your side. As a police officer I can tell you that any order that disarms the American Public will be ignored by at least 99.9% of all officers in the United States. The government will even find it extremely difficult to order troops to carry out an order like that on law abiding citizens. It will take another bureaucratic agency that will most likely be populated by the true militants, the current government has aligned itself with, to come in and pry them from our cold dead hands. I would see this as a benefit to your community rather than a detriment. The core issue here is that if they are spending this money on your community, let them spend it so your community will have protection from them when they send that order down the pipeline!

  35. Keith Hayes says:

    Another thing that you have to understand here this is not a tank, it is a armored truck that is built from theFord F-550 chassis. You need to go to the site and view the vehicle for yourself. http://armoredtrucks.com/bcat-g3.aspx