April 03, 2014WOLFEBORO — Commissioner Bob Copeland was elected on March 11 to serve another term on the Wolfeboro Police Commission. His fellow commissioners, Chairman Ron Goodgame and Joe Balboni offered congratulations at the March 20 meeting at the Wolfeboro Public Library. Balboni will serve as the new chairman.
With the 2014 budget approved by the voters, Chief Stuart Chase said the Wolfeboro Police Department is ready to begin planned upgrades in central dispatch and in one of the older patrol vehicles.
He reported as well that the grants that fund the department's summer and seasonal educational and enforcement initiatives have been completed and forwarded to N.H. Highway Safety. He commented that Lt. Dean Rondeau, who writes and manages the grants, does "yeoman's work" in keeping track of the red tape involved.
The grants will be applied to DWI patrols, pedestrian/crosswalk safety, "Click It or Ticket," Operation Safe Commute, speed enforcement and bicycle helmet procurement and distribution.
The department is also seeking funding for a mobile radar speed and information trailer to be put to use during the Middleton Road paving project as one example, and selective enforcement programs and public events that generate traffic as other examples.
Statistics for February activity are as follows: offenses 45, arrests 13, collisions 10, and citations 144.
Chase announced that the department has forwarded a proposal to the Attorney General's Office seeking approval of its plan to dispose of confiscated and surrendered firearms. "We begin with the premise that these firearms have a value and we would like to capture that value rather than simply destroying them," said Chase.
If that gains approval, the evidence officer will compile a list of all firearms held, how they came into the department's possession and why they can't be returned to the individual from whom they were seized. The prosecutor will then file a motion with the 3rd Circuit Court requesting authority to dispose of the listed firearms in accordance with RSA 159:25.
Chase told the commissioners that he would like to set aside a day for local, licensed gun dealers to look over the fire arms before then submitting sealed written bids. There are between 30 to 40 guns in the lot. The proceeds would go into the town's general fund.
Goodgame said he thought the chief would want as many folks as possible participating, but Chase expressed concern about eligibility. Copeland suggested letting members of the public at least look at the collection alongside the dealers.
Chase is considering a second option to sell the entire lot of firearms for cash to a single dealer experienced in transactions with police departments.
Under community outreach, the chief said that Lt. Rondeau assisted a student from the NH Technical Institute who was working on a public administration class assignment. Also, 17 year old Kieru Kanyi, of Kenya, attending Kingswood Regional High School this school year under the auspices of the Department of State's Kennedy/Lugar Youth Exchange Program, went on a ride-along with Officer Peter Llewellyn.
"He was a very outgoing young man, " said Chase, "… and it was refreshing to see his excitement and genuine interest. He told me he hadn't been able to sleep for several days in anticipation of being in a police car. I know he enjoyed wearing my body armor and getting a perspective of what a police officer sees from the inside of a cruiser. We wish Kikuru Kanyi asante sana all the best!"
Chase attended a Primex Insurance class on current management practices in employee evaluations and documentation and succession protocols. Lt. Rondeau and Officer Llewellyn attended a class on intelligence sharing held at Police Standards & Training. Central Dispatch Supervisor Mia Lyons continues to work with Lt. Duffy of the N.H. State Police on a training program and policy and procedure on active shooter incidents for call-takers and dispatchers.
Chase thanked Duffy for "rendering his expertise and assistance in this regard."
Alton Police Chief Ryan Heath sent a letter of thanks for Sgt. Randy Archambault's help. Serving on the promotional board or the position of patrol sergeant in that Town, reported Chase. "He's an honorable man, and he does a great job," he added.
And a thank you card arrived recently from a Wolfeboro family, complimenting Sgt. Chris Keaton and Tim Morgan, police prosecutor, for the empathy displayed in dealing with their son. The parents said that the young man is holding down a job for the first time, and is living out of town.
The Commissioners will meet with the K9 program committee, headed by Lt. Rondeau on April 2 in the Public Safety Building. He estimates that it will cost from $50,000 to $70,000 to get the program going. About $7,000 in donations has been received.
The next public commissioner's meeting is scheduled for April 17, in the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room at 4 p.m.