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Police Commission approves increases for chief and lieutenant

January 02, 2014
WOLFEBORO — In its order of business on Dec. 19, the Wolfeboro Police Commissioners voted to move $1,675 from the budget line for summer salaries into the 2014 administrative salary line to reflect a 1.5 percent Cost of Living Increase for the Wolfeboro Police Department's top officers, Chief Stuart Chase and Lt. Dean Rondeau.

The overall budget will stay the same. " That budget is a very tight budget," commented Chairman Ron Goodgame. " It's tightly penciled and sharply honed."

Their decision brings the total percentage raise (3.5 percent) for the two officers in line with the rest of the department and its unionized personnel, taking into consideration the Memorandums of Understanding signed by Chase and Rondeau in 2006 that they would receive the same percent raises as the officers below them in the chain of command.

In the interest of improved clarity, Goodgame asked Commissioner Bob Copeland, in light of his background in doing contracts, to review the two officer's Memorandums of Understanding with assistance from town counsel Mark Puffer as needed and report on his findings by June 1, at the latest.

Chief Chase reported on a variety of matters. Lt. Rondeau, Sgt. Chris Keaton and Prosecutor Tim Moran attended a class on felony driving while intoxicated investigations. Included on the chief's docket last month were: an appearance in Superior Court on a right to know matter; a meeting with the Carroll County Attorney on an ongoing investigation; an address to the Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting; the monthly department meeting; and Budget Committee and Selectmen's meetings regarding the salary matter mentioned above.

Dispatcher Will Riley is supervising training of a young man with experience in fire/rescue service in a part-time position in Central Dispatch.

Outreach activities included an address by Lt. Rondeau to Brewster Academy's freshman class, which includes international students, on conduct, decorum and New Hampshire laws.

Statistics for November show 50 offenses in 27 categories, predominately criminal mischief (vandalism), alcoholism/protective custody and possession of controlled drugs.

Officers made 20 arrests, bringing the total number to 305 this year to date, a figure that is down from last year's 407 at the same time.

17 collisions were reported, with nine of those on Center Street and four on South Main Street.

Officers handed out 127 citations: 26 of those were given to Center Street motorists, 21 to South Main Street drivers and 10 to travelers on Beech Pond Road.

Prosecutor Tim Morgan handled 28 defendants facing 34 charges resulting in 14 arraignments, two trials, 11 pleas, one restitution hearing, one pretrial conference and one protective custody hearing.

Sgt. Keaton noted at the meeting that there were 114 dog license hearings, a result of owners' failure to license their dogs despite multiple warnings. The fines, as much as $50 for the first offense, mounted up to $8,697.

In other business, Goodgame reported that Josephine Amatucci had left him a voice mail telling him to bring the commissioner's handbook to the meeting. Goodgame asked the chief to have her put the request in writing and asked that counsel check through it to be sure that any privileged information is withheld. He said she is welcome to whatever is allowed. Amatucci was not present at the Dec. 19 meeting.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. in the Wolfeboro Public Library.

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