PLAISTOW — There are some new vehicles humming around Plaistow this summer. Both the police and fire departments recently acquired new Humvees, which have immediately been put into service.
“We are going to use them for any major events which happen in town,” police Lt. William Baldwin said. “This enables us to bring more resources than we could in a cruiser.”
The town acquired the Humvees through the 1033 Military Surplus Program. The program loans excess military items to law enforcement on the condition they are returned when the town no longer has use for them. Four Humvees were loaned to Plaistow, two to be used for surplus parts. The military is able to recall the equipment at any time.
“When you give it back to the military, they don’t care if it’s fully functioning or in a scrap square,” Selectman Daniel Poliquin said. “They just want it back so their inventory will show they have this serial.”
Since 1990, the Department of Defense has transferred $4.2 billion worth of property through the program. Items deemed as surplus by military services are turned over to the Defense Logistics Agency, which puts the items in a database.
Once in the database, municipalities can search through the items and make requests through their state coordinator. In New Hampshire, that’s State Police Maj. Russell Conte.
“Equipment is provided on a first come, first serve basis,” said Michelle McCaskill, spokeswoman for the Defense Logistics Agency.
In addition to the Humvees, the town also received two portable generators and a stationary generator, which will be used at the Public Safety Complex. The value of all the items received is a little more than $100,000.
Fire Chief John McArdle said his department’s Humvee won’t be used as a first response vehicle, but they will still put it to good use.