Concord Police Chief Defends Decision To Apply For Armored Vehicle

Aug 8, 2013

The chief of police in Concord is defending his decision to apply for a Bearcat, an armored vehicle that several other New Hampshire communities have already received.

Appearing on NHPR’s The Exchange, Chief John Duval said incidents such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the shooting at Sandy Hook show cities like Concord must prepare for anything.

“Law enforcement would be remiss and quite honestly irresponsible if we didn’t adequately prepare our communities for such a thing to happen here.”

But the city has come under fire for referencing groups like the Free State Project and Occupy New Hampshire as reasons for needing the armored vehicle.

Devon Chaffee heads the state chapter of the ACLU.

“We’re really concerned on First Amendment grounds why are these groups named in this application in this way.”

Duval has apologized for singling out the groups and said he is looking to amend the grant application.

The Concord City Council is set to vote next week on whether to accept a $258,000 federal grant to purchase the vehicle.