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Jun 10, 2019 3:35 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Town Authorizes Donation For Armored Car Purchase

East Hampton Town will purchase a Bearcat armored vehicle with the help of an anonymous donor. Images courtesy of Lenco Industries Inc.
Jun 10, 2019 4:20 PM

The East Hampton Town Board last week unanimously approved accepting a donation of more than $300,000 from an anonymous person for the purchase of a BearCat armored vehicle for the East Hampton Town Police Department.

The donor agreed to fund the purchase of the vehicle after meeting with East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo as well as the chiefs of the East Hampton Village and Sag Harbor Village departments, Michael Tracey and Austin McGuire, to discuss how a large donation could improve their ability to protect the community, especially with regard to school safety.

Chief Sarlo explained to the Town Board last month that the three chiefs had told the donor that having a BearCat vehicle to support their inter-departmental Emergency Services Unit would be a major boost to their ability to protect the community and respond to emergencies, including a potential school shooting or other active shooter situation.

“He wished to support school safety, he wished to support all three municipalities involved in the Emergency Services Unit, and he wished to provide us with something that would protect the citizens of the town,” Chief Sarlo told the board in early May, nodding also to critics who say the town having such a vehicle is unnecessary.

“Anyone who wants to sit and say it won’t happen here is taking a risk I don’t have the luxury to take,” he said. “In my position, I can’t say I hope it won’t happen here. I serve the community and it is my job to work to prevent it from happening here—and, in the event it does happen here, to be prepared to end it as quickly as possible.”

The chief said at the time that the design of the vehicle they plan to order from the manufacturer, Lenco, would be a model the company calls a MedCat, outfitted with ambulance equipment to help evacuate those needing medical treatment from emergency situations.

Along with being armored, the BearCat’s all-terrain capabilities will make it useful for responses during natural disasters or incidents when airborne chemicals may pose a danger, the town had said when it applied, unsuccessfully, for a federal grant to purchase a BearCat back in 2016.

BearCats are in use by hundreds of police departments around the U.S. but have been embroiled in a debate about “militarization” of police forces that some see as a dangerous blurring of duties.

At their last discussion of the matter on May 7, some board members said they had asked not to be told the identity of the donor, so as to avoid the potential appearance of conflicts. Others said they chose to be told his identity for the same reason.

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One only need look as far as NYC and Ferguson Missouri to see that militirized police often use their equipment to intimidate and physically harm peaceful protestors.
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Jun 11, 19 1:10 PM
Why do we need this again?
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jun 11, 19 1:13 PM
Piping plover invasion...
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jun 11, 19 1:20 PM
OK, vote's over. Shouldn't we now know who the mystery donor is? On what basis is this being kept secret?

Given that Southampton's police militarization (they also acquired an armored vehicle and automatic weapons) is now being used as taxpayer funded armed security for the wealthy-at-play events, isn't it in the public interest to ensure this "donation" isn't intended to accomplish the same thing?
By NateNewtown (99), east on Jun 11, 19 2:56 PM
2 members liked this comment
Great piece of military equipment... wondering how it's occupants are going to communicate with others during a real crisis. I have nothing but respect for the chief and his department. But shouldn't the board be focusing on the sub-par communications issues that have plagued the police and fire chiefs for over a decade?
I mean - all the equipment purchased to upgrade their systems have sat unused and are now obsolete. Getting the latest toy before fixing their cell tower clusterfudge suggests ...more
By BonacPlague (11), Gansett on Jun 11, 19 3:44 PM
We aren't Ferguson or NYC we are Maybury buddy.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 11, 19 3:44 PM
Seems excessive. Hopefully it won’t have a dead battery in 10 years when they decide to take it in the parade.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Jun 11, 19 3:54 PM
By Hambone (514), New York on Jun 11, 19 3:58 PM
And that's why the second amendment exists! The population needs equal firepower to stand up to tyranny .
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jun 11, 19 7:11 PM
Guess i'm asking for a rocket launcher for Christmas this year.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jun 12, 19 9:14 AM
Not in NY anyways, The Shithole State does not allow NFA restricted items unlike Free America. Then again those rules only apply to law abiding Americans, criminals and immigrant gangs don't seem to care about laws too much. Ignorant Leftist also seem prone to surrendering their rights with out so much of a whimper as well.
By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Jun 12, 19 12:21 PM
Thank you for making up for the lack of a wimper from the liberals, you have more then made up for it.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jun 12, 19 12:53 PM
Lol, you're welcome to leave, Preliator
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 12, 19 12:59 PM
2 members liked this comment
Lol, you're welcome to go back to whatever country that was so bad you fled it, permanently. Must have been an exceptionally awful place for you to come to such an unfair, racist country.
By MoronEliminator (215), Montauk on Jun 12, 19 3:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
On second thought, perhaps it wasn't such a bad place after all. After all, it doesn't take much for cowards to abandon their country.
By MoronEliminator (215), Montauk on Jun 12, 19 3:08 PM
So what you are saying is basically every person in this country, or the relatives who came before them, is a coward?
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jun 12, 19 3:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hey moron, I'm not complaining, preliator is.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 13, 19 8:53 AM
By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Jun 13, 19 11:42 AM
I hear the Town of Southampton is getting an M1 Abrams.
By Pacman (273), Southampton on Jun 12, 19 9:16 AM
1 member liked this comment
Curious how many of these have been used to take down school shooters.
By 2329702 (67), East Quogue on Jun 12, 19 3:20 PM
Maybe get a few attack helicopters, they have the airport.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jun 13, 19 9:11 AM
Why don’t we let the Chief’s do the policing and run their respective departments. All you fools would be the first ones bitching that they weren’t prepared if a crisis occurs.

There is no such thing as “It can’t happen here” folks.

By Summerfun46 (10), HAMPTON bays on Jun 16, 19 2:29 PM
Exactly, bring on the helicopters. That foolish enough?
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jun 16, 19 2:38 PM
and another thing..thank them for working out a private donation for the equipment.
By Summerfun46 (10), HAMPTON bays on Jun 16, 19 2:30 PM
Any real crimes out here are handled by Suffolk county PD, but they need a tank? Lol “He wanted to protect school children, so we bought a tank.”
By banned (191), Hampton Bays on Jun 18, 19 10:02 PM
BearCat envy...
By Summerfun46 (10), HAMPTON bays on Jun 18, 19 11:39 PM