Brief: Board of Aldermen approves purchase of the BearCat, armored response vehicle

The BearCat is coming to town.

The New Haven Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a resolution that authorized the city to accept funding in order to purchase an armored response vehicle, the BearCat. The $143,640 grant comes from the Connecticut Emergency Management & Homeland Security 2006 Buffer Zone program.

The BearCat, produced by Lenco Armored Vehicles, is commonly used by police SWAT teams.

The chair of the public safety committee, Ward 13 Alderman Alex Rhodeen, said that the vehicle requires no special training for drivers or operators. It is also serviceable in-house by city employees and would therefore be more cost-efficient in the long run than if they had to send the vehicle away for repairs, he said.

“The BearCat can withstand multiple shots from a 50-caliber rifle,” Rhodeen told the board during a quick 10-minute meeting on Tuesday night.

The vehicle weighs about 15,000 pounds and is coated with thick metal plating meant to withstand both bullets and blasts. As an armored car, it has wheels, not treads.

On another note, aldermen honored the winner of this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. They celebrated that Uno is the first beagle — an “all-American dog” — ever to win the prestigious award.

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