On Christmas Day the police department of Manchester, Connecticut roamed the streets in their eight-ton armored personnel carrier decked out in Christmas lights bearing gifts to needy kids. Cute community outreach initiative or subtle "scare 'em straight" operation?

Check out a photo album of the cops playing armored Santa Claus right here.

The inflatable snow man popping out of the top and and tinsel help take some of its ominous edge off... I guess. Not sure about that Elmo strapped to the hood though.

Why the town of Manchester has a Lenco BearCat G2, which is a ten-passenger war machine with a roof-mounted turret and armor tough enough to fend off .50 caliber rounds, will assuredly be something for discussion in the comments.

The Hartford Courant explains that the local Elks Club supplied most of the gifts through their annual toy drive, and Manchester PD officer Bernie Hallums (who runs the town's "Blue Angels Foundation" that helps local kids in need) identified families who could benefit from the cops Christmas visit.

Sergeant Marc Hughes, supervisor of Manchester PD's Community Policing Unit, told the paper; "We thought it would be an opportunity to interact with kids in a way that we don't usually get to."


As a former kid myself, I'm sure I would have gone apeshit with glee seeing this thing steamrolling Christmas cheer into my neighborhood. But the cynic in me could see this as a creepy way of getting kids used to seeing cops in apocalypse trucks.

Hat tip to Creative Accidents!

Photo via NBC Connecticut