Two fewer traffic cops this summer on Main Street in Wolfeboro


May 19, 2011
WOLFEBORO — Two young men, rather than four, will be working the traffic control beat in downtown Wolfeboro this summer, beginning June 19. Chief Stuart Chase said he had to cut $6,000 from that line item in his budget this year, but he told the Police Commission on May 12 that the Chamber of Commerce and downtown businesses have been cooperative in the past in helping to ease the parking situation, and he expects that positive relationship will continue.

Commissioner Ron Goodgame wondered how the flow could be improved. Chase responded that there are several issues that hinder movement on Main Street, among them, the perpendicular parking and the number of left turns. He mentioned the Route 28 corridor study is ongoing (on nearly four miles of Route 28 from the Wolfeboro/Alton town line to Pickering Corner to Route 109A – second meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Crescent Lake School) and eventually some of the design flaws may be addressed, but until then "public education will precede formal enforcement action."

Will a presidential bid by Mitt Romney cause increased traffic? inquired Goodgame. Chase commented in an aside that Romney often rides his bike, but speaking in a more serious vein, he noted that a candidate doesn't have Secret Service until or if there is an official announcement of candidacy, and that the town went through it four years ago and there were no extra costs for security.

"We had a dry run with French President Nicolas Sarkozy," said Chase, " and only had a $140 extra cost for a four hour detail."

"We all hope that you are right that there would be no adverse impact," responded Goodgame, " but what if the money in the budget is insufficient?"

Chase answered, " I haven't had to do it since I've been here…I'm kind of a Dutch uncle when it comes to the budget. I monitor it every month. We would cut back on training or restrict time off. We'll live within our budget."

Drug Take Back Day

More than 80 gallons of unwanted prescription drugs were turned in to the police by citizens on the second national Drug Take Back Day in April sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. New Hampshire had 92 sites at which drugs pounds were collected, up 60 percent collected over the 50 sites last fall, said Chase. He pointed out that Wolfeboro began a turn-in program in 2005 and offers the police department as a continuous collection site.

The purpose, said Chase, is "to keep medication from being inappropriately diverted and/or released into the environment causing contamination issues."

Community Connections

The department is partnering with Huggins Hospital, Memorial Hospital, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office and Carroll County Mental Health to standardize procedures on 18 policies involving general hospital security issues, unusual occurrences and patient needs, including involuntary emergency admissions.

Officers assisted with "Bike and Walk to School Day" last Friday, May 13, between 8 and 9 a.m. and between 3 and 4 p.m.

Officer Martel conducted the annual bike rodeo to stress bicycle safety at Carpenter School on April 30, part of the Safe Routes to School Initiative.

Dispatch supervisor Mia Lyons is helping organize the annual Torch Run to support the NH Special Olympics, taking place on Saturday, May 21, with several officers participating.

April statistics

Offenses for the month of April amounted to 66, an increase of 17 percent over last month. Most citations were educational rather than punitive, commented Chase. There were 27 arrests, a 50 percent increase over last month's 18.

The court docket included 29 defendants involved in 39 offenses. There were nine arraignments, 16 plea agreements, four trials and two hearings.

The Wolfeboro Police Commission will convene for its next monthly meeting at 4 p.m. in the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room, on Thursday, June 9.

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