Burns investigation increased police overtime in May


July 02, 2009
WOLFEBORO — Officers of the Wolfeboro Police Department saw a significant increase in activity in May, according to statistics shared by Chief Stuart Chase at the Wolfeboro Police Commission on June 18.

The Stacey Burns homicide investigation that began on May 10 drove the weekly overtime average per officer from 3.4 to 27 hours a week. Wolfeboro police officers assisted the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes unit in securing the scene and maintained its security for 24 hours a day until the unit finished its work.

The department received letters of appreciation for its support work from the New Hampshire State Police and Lt. White of the Major Crime Unit.

May offenses totaled 117, with most in the category of protective custody followed by criminal mischief, for a 102 percent increase over the April count of 58. Most of the action, according to Chase, is attributable to two underage drinking parties. Of the 21 protective custody arrests, 12 occurred at the residence of Andrew Levesque on Pine Hill Road.

The 59 arrests in May represented a 157 percent increase from April's 23. Of the total, 15 were on Pine Hill Road. Center Street was a close second with 14 arrests.

Accidents increased 150 percent with a total of 10 in the month of May compared to four in April.

Chase reported that the department is conducting speed and drunk driving enforcement patrols regularly through the summer months, including programs to discourage underage drinking and the sale of alcohol to minors. In the week prior to the meeting, Wolfeboro officers, in a cooperative effort with the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission, checked 29 licensed establishments. Only one failed to comply and was issued a summons for selling to a minor.

Checks will be made throughout the summer in an effort to curb underage drinking.

Tim Morgan, prosecutor for the Wolfeboro Police Department dealt with 24 defendants, covering 40 offenses. In court, there 22 pleas, 14 arraignments, and three trials. One case was dismissed.

Officer Training

Officers Michael Strauch and Roger Martel were certified in radar operation in May. Officer Guy Maloney attended a course on fraud investigations, and under the direction of Martel, all department members passed firearm qualification requirements.

Traffic control personnel have been hired and began work on June 15. Sgt. Scott Moore and Lt. Dean Rondeau are directing their training and orientation.

Nixle Communication Service

Chase announced the coming of Nixle, a new, free communications service that will keep subscribers updated via text message, e-mail or the web on weather, school closings, missing persons, traffic and road closings, and location and time of events. He noted that the office is inundated with calls for information when there are events, such as the 4th of July parade and fireworks.

Nixle will offer immediate alerts and advisories along with event information. It is easy to sign up at www.nixle.com.

Share the Road

As of Jan. 1, 2009, the law requires that motorists share the road with cyclists. Three feet of clearance is required when passing, and each 10 miles per hour of increased speed requires an additional foot of clearance. A fine of $100 may be levied on offenders.

Also related to bicycle safety, bicycle helmets were distributed to Crescent Lake Elementary School in conjunction with "Bike and Walk to Work Day."

The Wolfeboro Police Commission will meet again on July 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center on Lehner Street.

Salmon Press
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