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Both offenses and arrests down in July in Wolfeboro

August 19, 2010
WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro police officers have been spending more time walking the beat downtown this summer, increasing their visibility during the time when sidewalks and streets teem with car and foot traffic. Chief Stuart Chase was pleased to report at the Police Commission meeting of Aug. 12 that there were no incidents or arrests associated with the day-long events of July 4, when the number of visitors peaks each year.

The holiday is one of the most expensive to cover at $7,000. Overtime per officer during that week averaged 12.4 hours. Overtime during subsequent weeks was dramatically lower at 1.9, 1.5 and 1.7 hours per officer.

Chase reported that offenses were down from 89 in June to 69 in July. Arrests were down slightly from 39 to 36.

Construction issues

Americans with Disability Act modifications to a bathroom and attendant alterations to the locker room, kitchenette and an evidence room necessitated a temporary move of central dispatch away from the jack-hammering into a mobile command post, on free loan from the Carroll County Sheriff's Department, positioned in the front of the station.

Chase anticipates construction involving the evidence room to take about ten days. The department is renting a secure storage unit to protect the contents of the room during that time.

A more extensive project to remove and relocate around 30 years of paper records, currently stored in the crawl space above the second floor, will require several phases, according to Chase: removal, transfer into temporary storage, culling and destruction according to RSAs on records retention, possible digitizing of some materials and development of long-term storage. He foresees costs of the project as a 2011 budget item.

The most cost-effective option under consideration so far is a 40' x 10' container, which would be situated near the property line at the back of the building.

Drug turn in program

The current prescription drug collection offered by the department and emulated throughout the region will be enhanced on Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with participation in the Drug Enforcement Agency's statewide drug collection program.

Residents are encouraged to collect any expired, unused or unwanted controlled or uncontrolled substances to the station on that day in an effort to keep drugs out of the hands of potential abusers. Chase said that in New Hampshire, 20 percent of high school students report abusing prescription-type medicines without a prescription.

[Editor's Note: Wolfeboro will hold its second unwanted medication collection this Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Lakes Region Household Hazardous Product Facility at 404 Beech Pond Rd., just below the Solid Waste Facility. See article on page A3.]

Enforcement and court cases

Chase reported that the department has used grants to support speed and DUI enforcement, resulting in 255 citations in July 85 percent of them were non-punitive, according to Chase. Drivers along Rt. 109A received 21 citations; 62 were issued along Center Street; 50 occurred on South Main Street; and 36 on North Main Street.

Prosecutor for the department Tim Morgan dealt with 14 defendants in the matter of 17 offenses. He participated in six trials, two plea agreements, five arraignments, three juvenile cases and three cases of theft. The district court schedule was cut by one furlough day at month as part of the state's budget cuts.

The next meeting of the police commission will take place at the Wolfeboro Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 9, at 6:30 p.m.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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