I know what you're thinking. The same thing I'm thinking. The town of Galax needs an armored vehicle? Has the revolution begun? Is the Old Fiddlers' Convention expected to get out of hand, requiring a SWAT team's presence? Is the town needing an armored vehicle to transport to the bank all the loot being brought in by ... tourists?
Well, probably not. Not if the explanation for its purchase is any indication. Here's the justification:
• The armored vehicle that the Galax Police Department is slated to receive in November could have been used to get some people out of the cold during a fire at an independent living complex in Hillsville in January, Galax Police Chief told city council on Monday.Had it been available, the new armored vehicle could have prevented the Galax goat shooting of 1948 also. If we want to get completely unhinged.
• [The Police Chief] said it could have been used to extract individuals from two high-risk search warrant executions in the area, such as the hostage crisis at the Wytheville Post Office in December.
Did I mention the price tag?
But not to worry. "Someone else" is paying for all but the steering wheel - the Department of Homeland Security. Which apparently prints its own currency and doesn't have to rely on precious tax dollars for its wasteful programs.
So what does Galax have that it didn't have before?
A "chemical-, biological-, radiological-, nuclear- and explosive-resistant vehicle, not quite as big as an ambulance, but able to hold up to nine people" with features that include "explosive gas detection, radiation detection, camera and intercom systems and a battery charger device."
And a coffee maker that plays "Dixie" while its doing Starbucks Ready Brew.
For the love of God, people. A chemical-, biological-, radiological-, nuclear- and explosive-resistant vehicle? In freaking Galax? Have you no shame?
Oh, I should mention, in fairness to Galax, officials there haven't cornered the market on abject stupidity. My own Bland County owns one of these jewels, courtesy of ... Rick Boucher. A by-God Pierce Contender:
It too came out of
Seen occasionally outside the Bland County Volunteer Fire Department shed in downtown Bland being washed and made ready for the next chemical, biological, or radiological attack, this monster is perfect for hay rides and wet t-shirt contests, should anyone want to rent the damn thing, which sits idle otherwise.
Hope you folks in Galax enjoy your new truck, courtesy of ... Homeland Security?
Enjoy but consider:
Not far down the road, in Henry County, Stanley Furniture announced just a few weeks ago that it was closing its plant and laying off another 530 Southwest Virginians.
There is a correlation.
There is a correlation.