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Preliminary Wolfeboro police budget up 5.1 percent

December 09, 2021
WOLFEBORO — As the Wolfeboro Police Commission prepares for a budget meeting on Dec. 16 at the town library, one of a series of meetings scheduled with town departments by the Budget Committee, Chief Dean Rondeau reported on his department's budget status at the Nov. 17 monthly meeting.

The budget is up 5.1 percent, due in large part to the Police Union Contract, said Rondeau, along with an increase in State Retirement costs of approximately 7 percent, and health insurance related costs. The department reduced gasoline consumption by approximately 200 gallons or so of fuel due to hybrid and Tesla vehicles in the fleet. Gas prices, however, jumped from $1.87 (last year's price) to $2.55, the forecasted cost necessitating a 67 cent adjustment on the 9,000 gallons of fuel budgeted for.

The Commission voted in support of a 4 percent COLA for the Non-Union Employees to match that authorized by the Board of Selectmen.

Rondeau shared the October statistics, which totaled 61 incidents, 107 offenses, 28 arrests, 15 accidents, and 370 traffic stops (14 tickets issued). The detective's report showed six new cases, identified as 3 theft, 1 missing person, 1 title jumping, and 1 breach of bail. All were investigated as misdemeanor offenses.

School Resource officer Mary Devine has a very busy second month of school. Devine filed 14 incident reports from Middle and High School activity, wrote a CHINS petition for a habitual runaway, a truancy petition for systemic failure to appear in school, and reported two assaults, one of which did not occur on campus. Also, this past month, several students were found to be in possession of tobacco products. All were first offenders. In addition, three students found to be under the influence of THC. Referrals were made to the school for discipline. Devine also investigated two reports of criminal threatening and a hit and run motor vehicle accident on campus.

On the prevention side, Devine participates in weekly meetings with the Kingswood Next Steps Team: an intervention and support group for identified at risk students to increase overall positive behaviors and academic success.

The department's prosecutor, Tim Morgan, also had a busy month. 24 defendants responded to 24 charges. 16 defendants were found guilty by plea or trial, seven cases were placed on file pending good behavior, restitution and other classes or counseling as part of their agreement, and one case was dismissed.

Rondeau reported that all the officers had Use of Force training at the Police Academy. Active shooter training and firearms qualifications training were also undertaken.

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