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Police report April arrests down slightly from March

May 20, 2010
WOLFEBORO — Summer means increased traffic in town, and the Wolfeboro Police Department is gearing up for the busy summer months, as Police Chief Stuart Chase reported to police commissioners last Thursday, May 13.

Three grants for summertime programs have been confirmed: one for Driving While Intoxicated enforcement ($5,335); another for speed enforcement ($5,456); and the third for pedestrian safety ($5,456).

Chief Chase explained that the pedestrian safety grant will focus on "developing good habits by those walking in the downtown area" and address concerns expressed by drivers, especially in the summer.

The field of six candidates for the four parking control positions has been narrowed down to four recently. Hiring should be complete in the next two weeks.

The Wolfeboro Public Works department's inflow and infiltration program has included drainage work around the public safety building and the addition of two diagonal parking spaces in front of the building. The binder coat of asphalt is now in place.

Inside the building, the dispatch center has been reorganized by dispatch supervisor Mia Lyons for increased efficiency. Bids on making the station bathroom handicap accessible are to go out in June, with work expected to begin in July.

Chief Chase reported that arrests in April were down slightly, from March's 25, to 20, with alcohol and drug-related incidents dominating. There were 11 accidents in April, an increase from eight in March. A furlough day, part of cuts to the judiciary budget, reduced court time available in the Southern Carroll County District Court last month. More furlough days are planned.

Chief Chase followed up on past business, with an announcement that he has "thoroughly reviewed" an incident brought up by Mr. Cedrone of the Lakeview Inn and Motor Lodge at the April commission meeting. Cedrone complained that the police department had not responded to his letter of concerns regarding an accident that he had been involved with in the winter. The chief pointed out that the letter did not ask for a call back.

The chief said that he referred Cedrone to his insurance company to whom the police reported its determination that the speed of the vehicle in question was determined to be 28 miles per hour. Unfortunately, Cedrone had cancelled his auto insurance just days before the incident. Chase said that he regretted any misunderstanding and wishes Cedrone well as he tries to resolve "this personal issue."

In the matter of realtor George Hutchinson's appearance before the police commission on Feb. 11 to complain that he had received a ticket for negligent driving that he felt was uncalled for, Chase reported that Hutchinson had taken the matter to court. On May 11, Hutchinson received a two-hour trial in Carroll County Northern District Court, resulting in a guilty ruling by Judge Pamela Albee and the maximum fine of $625.

The charge was made after Hutchinson backed into an elderly female pedestrian, knocking her down in the process. Hutchinson came to the commission after protesting the ticket to the chief and to Prosecutor Tim Morgan. He also complained that the officer had "altered testimony" of witnesses when he wrote the word "entry way" instead of the word "driveway," which appeared in witness statements, and accused him of dishonesty.

Hutchinson subsequently made an unsuccessful bid in March for an open position on the police commission, advocating for better enforcement of jaywalking laws and a more active response to loud motorcycles downtown,

The next police commission meeting is scheduled for June 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room.

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