Letter: How many Bearcats does one city need?
I don’t begrudge the Concord Police Department the use of a Bearcat in emergency situations; in fact, I applaud it. I just question the need for a third Bearcat housed in Concord. In a recent article about Keene’s Bearcat and Bearcats in general, the New Hampshire Union Leader listed all the Bearcats in New Hampshire, including one owned by the state police (presumably garaged in Concord) and one owned by “the Central New Hampshire Special Operations Unit based in Concord.” This Special Operations Unit was called out to respond to the recent (false) report of a gunman at Concord High School. I presumed they came in their Bearcat to keep officers safe and safely evacuate people in the building. There is also a Bearcat 22 miles away in Manchester, another 28 miles away in Derry and another 35 miles away in Nashua. Nashua’s Bearcat went to Watertown, Mass., to search for the Boston Marathon bomber – about the same distance as Concord.
The usefulness of a Bearcat is often cited for officer safety when conducting operations such as the one in Greenland in which the police chief was killed and several other officers were wounded, yet the Seacoast Advanced Response Team’s Bearcat wasn’t deployed, probably a major factor in the tragedy that cost the life of an officer.
Let’s use the two Bearcats we already have, even if they don’t say “Concord Police Department” on them. We can borrow one for parades and the National Night Out and hang a sign on it.
JOHN B. ANDREWS