People Question Police Gear

By Ben Manning |

Published 08/15 2014 11:09PM

Updated 08/15 2014 11:13PM

LOGAN TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY - After the police situation and rioting in Ferguson Missouri some people are asking should police have military style equipment.

A petition is circulating nation wide about this equipment. But a local police chief with some very similar gear says it keeps everyone safer.

The Lenco armored vehicle stays at the Logan Township yard, but is available to any police force in the area. Chief Ron Heller has used in twice in Blair County in the last year and six more times in Centre County. And it goes to every Penn State game just in case.

But some people, like Joseph Frank, think this is too much for police to use against citizens on American soil. He says the police don’t need it.

After watching the news about the rioting in Missouri, Carly Schaffer sees it differently. She thinks police are just doing what they have to do to protect people.

Chief Heller says tools like those are necessary when you go into a situation like a riot. They keep his officers safe and let them protect the innocent people.

This vehicle, purchased through homeland security grants, can hold 12 fully equipped officers. And it has places where they can fire from without putting themselves in harm's way.

Chief Heller says they try to keep a good relationship with the community and prevent outbreaks of violence. But they want to be prepared just in case.

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