The city of Lebanon has a lot to be proud of. From the headquarters of Cracker Barrel to the best damn county fair in the state, it would almost seem there's little room for further accolades hailing from this rural Tennessee town.
Well, except for their tank.
In an article on Wired's Danger Room blog, the Lebanon Police Department's LAV-150 Commando "reconnaissance vehicle" makes a list of dubious military hardware purchases by increasingly militarized small town law enforcement agencies across the country.
In Lebanon, Tennessee, a town of less than 30,000 people, Mike Justice, the public safety coordinator, was so eager to accumulate military goods that he used to wake up at 3:00 a.m. so he was the first person logged in at the government’s first-come, first-serve online store. Thanks to his sleepless nights, since 2007, Lebanon has collected $4 million worth of stuff, including tanks, weapons and heavy equipment like bulldozers and truck loaders. Lebanon’s tank, an LAV 150, has been used only “five or six times,” according to Justice. Although it did help save a man who tried to commit suicide, spotting him with the tank’s infrared camera.
Pith wonders if it's cheaper to purchase an infrafred camera without the accompanying tank, or if it's a package deal they force you to sign on the lot.