Barry’s version was called “Ask Mr. Language Person,” and it was very funny.
Since “imitation is the mother of invention,” I thought I might copy the copier (call the “Squad Squad” — Safire’s anti-redundancy task force — if you don’t like this sentence construction) and introduce our own Kane County Connects column, tentatively titled, “Ask Mr./Ms. Kane County Person.”
I’m adding the “Ms.” because I’m not the actual “Mr. Kane County.” I’ll just be the go-between for residents with odd questions and county officials of many genders, who will no doubt supply less-odd answers.
Our first question in this series-destined-to-failure is from alert reader Ellen Finnegan, who emailed me this missive:
I was at Swedish Days yesterday watching the parade and quite a few people were wondering why Kane County has a military tank with a sniper’s nest. It was in the parade and it was not a Humvee like your recent article portrayed. One guy was saying that he was in one when he was serving in Iraq. We were all wondering how many they have and why they have them? Also, were taxpayers fund used to buy those?
Maybe, you could find out and do an article on that. People thought it was strange and would be interested to know what is going on.
* * *
No, thank you, Ellen Finnegan!
Here’s a response, from Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez:
“It is an armored personnel carrier that we obtained through LESO, a military surplus program for law enforcement agencies. It was obtained at no cost, and had been upgraded to meet our needs — none of the upgrades came from taxpayer dollars. Drug asset forfeiture fund and local business donations covered the upgrades.
“In the event of a hostile standoff or critical incident in which deputies or citizens are in peril, we can safely deploy our SWAT team into a hot zone for rescue and armed confrontations. We hope to never need it, but in the post-9/11 world, the potential for domestic terrorism and highly violent encounters are a reality that we must be prepared for.”
So, there you have it. I hope this information is helpful, and I’ll try to add a photo of the alleged vehicle to this column at a time to be named later.
Certainly, our inaugural “Ask Mr./Ms. Kane County Person” was not as funny as Dave Barry or as brilliant as William Safire, but it’s one less article for me to do today. Thanks so much to Ellen and to Sheriff Perez for participating.
GOT A QUESTION FOR ASK MR./MS. KANE COUNTY PERSON? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.