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Police department kept on its toes

November 11, 2009
Although Deputy Chief Kevin Keenan of the Gilford Police Department said the department budget has remained steady, he reported to the Board of Selectmen last Wednesday night that there has been an increase in thefts and violations.

This increase has kept the police department busy the last few months, but productive as well, said Keenan. He told the board that he finds these theft increases to be "economy driven," and feels that most crimes lately, and refusals to pay parking tickets, can be attributed to the fact that some people may be in a financial frenzy.

"We are dealing with this on a daily basis," said Keenan. "For the most part we are running very well."

He reported that there have also been numerous burglaries in town, and that more than half of them have already been solved, or are in the process of being solved.

Parking violations at the Glendale facilities have also increased, said Keenan. As of Oct. 2, the police department issued 429 tickets for parking violations. About 272 of those tickets were paid off and the department received $12,080 in return.

He said that although there have been more violations, there has also been a significant increase in those willing to pay off their tickets. He pointed out that there were 387 violations last year, yet the department only collected $7,530.

"The Glendale area takes a lot of time and work to deal with. There will be no gray area as to what the signs mean," said Keenan.

After listening to the deputy chief's quarterly update, Selectman Kevin Hayes brought one potential department issue to Keenan's attention.

A few people have asked why the police number is hard to remember, said Hayes. He explained that someone had wanted to place a call to the department's general line, rather than calling 911 but didn't know how to go about this.

Although he found it helpful that this person did not want to clog up the emergency number, Keenan reminded Hayes that the business line is 527-4737 versus the emergency line 528-3800, and that it would be difficult to get the word out that one number had changed, since it has been the same for years.

Instead of replacing the general line altogether, Hayes suggested that the department look into adding another general line to the existing numbers, especially a number that would be easier to remember.

Martin Lord and Osman
Salmon Press
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