Berlin NH requests a BEARCAT

I recently found out that the Berlin Police Department has submitted a grant application for a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck (BEARCAT). You may recall the Keene Police requested and received a similar armored vehicle after citing Pumpkin Fest and the Clarence Del Mar marathon as reasons for the needing a vehicle to be used to fight terrorism. And more recently, the Concord PD claiming “Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges,” in addition to organized groups, it cited “several homegrown clusters that are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies.” When asked to provide documentation of the “daily challenges” presented, the Concord City Clerk responded that there were no such documents.

In North Country, the Berlin PD’s application, which is full of spelling errors, cites 1) proximity to Canada; 2) terrorists coming in from Canada; 3) Carl Drega; and 4) Nathaniel Kibby as reasons for needing the vehicle.

I do not condone the actions of Carl Drega, however it seems to be a stretch to cite an incident from 17 years ago as rationale for needing a BEARCAT now. The Nathaniel Kibby situation was resolved with the use of a nearby BEARCAT. Further, the references to Canada seem to be flimsy arguments explaining why a city of 9,000 people needs it’s own BEARCAT, however the Department of Homeland Security seems to accept anything written as a valid reason for approving the grant application.

You can read the full grant application at

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