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Castleberry Fairs

Police Chief commends two officers for pursuit of burglary suspects


February 18, 2010
WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro Police Chief Stuart Chase commended Officers Mike Strauch and canine officer Jim O'Brien and his German Shepherd, Blek, at the police commission meeting of Feb. 11 for their successful, nearly three-hour pursuit of two burglary suspects through woods and swamps along Route 28 on Feb. 3.

"I can't recall a time when I have been more proud of my officers. To see them coming out of the woods after enduring exposure and extended rigorous exertion in furtherance of police mission was something to see," said the chief. "With every step, they were exposed to potential personal injury from either of these suspects, as they have been involved in violent crimes."

Chase said that one of the suspects was arrested for armed robbery in the past, and a loaded shotgun was found in the van.

N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officer Mark Hensel sent him a copy of the tracking recorded that day on his Global Positioning System (GPS), and Chief Shawn Bernier of New Durham wrote to Chase, sending "accolades for your officers' involvement. They responded immediately…without their quick action" the suspects would not have been apprehended.

Chase also complimented Sgt. Scott Moore on his coordination of the scene perimeter, which included communication with officers from Alton, New Durham, Middleton and Wolfeboro, N.H. State Police, and Carroll, Belknap and Strafford County Sherriff's Departments, the State Fire Marshall's Office and N.H. Fish and Game. Dispatchers Lyons and Moore, who was also dealing with fire/rescue units responding to a fire, also played a part in relaying information.

Voicing of a Complaint

George Hutchinson, who was charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle on Jan.6, after backing into and knocking down an 88-year-old female pedestrian, presented the commission with a letter of complaint about the officer who investigated the scene on South Main Street near the Yum Yum Shop.

Hutchinson admitted, " I bumped her, and she went down on her butt," but said that she did not appear to be injured. He appeared before the commission to object to the reporting officer's use of the word "entryway" to describe what a witness had called a "driveway." "It's a subtle change," said Hutchinson, but he objected to the "altering of the paperwork," and said that he was "disappointed in the dishonesty of two officers."

He told the commissioners that he had spoken to the chief and the prosecutor, Tim Morgan. Dissatisfied with their response, he asked for the commissioners to take up the matter. Chairman Ben Ladd said that he would be glad to look into the matter further, but commented that he couldn't tell the difference between the two words. Hutchinson told him to use the dictionary and he would see.

Hutchinson has registered to run for the office of Police Commissioner, a three way race between Ladd, Ron Goodgame and himself.

Other Business

Chase reported that Lt. O'Brien and Sgt. King of the Wakefield Police Department were instructors in Lethality Assessment training on Jan. 13, a program that is an adjunct to domestic violence investigations and assists in evaluating at-risk victims.

In the month of January, Police Prosecutor Morgan dealt with 34 defendants in court, which included 44 offenses, and resulted in 23 pleas, 10 arraignments, and 17 trials. Officers spent a total of 31 hours in court. The family court docket is so full at the district court that the department did not get many court dates.

A total of 15 arrests were made in January; two of those were closed, 13 remain open. Seven people were taken into protective custody over the course of the month; two of them were brought to Huggins Hospital.

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