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Police chief warns of beefed up traffic enforcement this summer


June 17, 2010
WOLFEBORO — Complaints of Internet fraud and confidence games are a frequent occurrence these days at the Wolfeboro Police Department. Lt. Dean Rondeau said at the Wolfeboro Police Commission meeting on June 10, that the number ranges from five to 10 each week. Chief Stuart Chase warned residents to keep the adage, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't" in mind.

"It is highly unlikely that you are the long lost cousin and sole heir of a fabulously wealthy European, and you will not receive several million dollars if you help out a Nigerian with a lot of money who contacted you out of the blue," said Chase. He added that some of the scams also apply to the buying and selling of goods online.

When a buyer claims that an overpayment was made, a seller who sends back money is likely to end up with a bad check. Rondeau commented that the department can help with some of the complaints, but most lie within the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The chief reminded citizens that there will beefed up Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and speed enforcement with the acceptance of federally funded grants amounting to $10,700 this summer. He commented that in the past, even when the public is notified that there will be checkpoints, it's "easy pickings," for people continue to break the law nevertheless. Again, there will be notification. He hopes that will increase compliance.

Summer time brings more activity in Wolfeboro, and with that, increased demand on the police department. Chase was pleased to inform the Commission members that the department is eligible for a second round of funding through American Resource and Recovery Act related funding for hiring a police officer at no cost for three years. In the fourth year, the town would be required to pick up the costs.

His choice, should the grant come through, would be to hire a detective to "allow us to maintain acceptable levels of patrol coverage and at the same time, assign an existing employee to conduct investigations."

He described summer time staffing to deal with a near tripling of the population from around 6,000 to 18,000 as "village staffing for small city needs," and said, "Our lack of depth in scheduling has always hampered our ability to conduct proper follow-ups, particularly in the summer/fall months when calls for service are at peak levels and personnel are 'bouncing from call to call.' "

Chase provided statistics for May: offenses numbered 74, a slight increase from April's 68; there were 21 arrests, including seven burglary attempts, five for criminal mischief, and five people were brought to the Carroll County Jail for temporary protective custody. Seven of those cases are closed, 14 remain open. There were 11 accidents, the same number as in May, five of which occurred on South Main Street. 3,744 calls came in to the station.

Officer training. Officer Guy Maloney attended a course on death and homicide investigations. Also attending classes, were Sgt. Chris Keaton on sexual assault investigations and Chase on labor negotiations at the Local Government Center in Concord.

All officers were offered a four-hour inservice on felony DWI investigations presented by Assistant Attorney General Dianna Fenton, who investigated the fatal boating accident on Lake Winnipesaukee last year.

The chief is a member of the NH Chief's Association subcommittee on policy, which reviews policies and procedures with the aim of atatewide standardization, following the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agency guidelines.

Commission chairman Curt Pike announced that the next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on July 8, and it will be held this time at the Community Center on Lehner Street.

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