Wolfeboro arrests and accidents up in July
August 18, 2011WOLFEBORO — The Wolfeboro Police Department has been short two officers this summer at the height of the tourist season, leaving those on duty to respond to the increased demand of the annual population surge.
Chief Stuart Chase reported to the Wolfeboro Police Commission on Aug. 11 that arrests in July (61) were up 60 percent from the previous month; offenses numbered 192, an increase of 118 percent; and the 22 accidents reported represented a 125 percent increase.
In regard to July arrests, Chase noted that five illegal aliens arrested on July 11 were turned over to federal authorities. Most had been deported back to Mexico previously and had returned illegally. One of the five is awaiting trial in a federal prison without bail for drug trafficking.
The department's trained canine, Blek, quickly discovered a cache of stolen property in in a wooded area in response to a tip related to the case of Kerri Guay, of 16 Elm St., who was arrested on July 21 and charged with theft from a motor vehicle and subsequent credit card fraud. Guay was out on bail for robbery in Rochester and was returned to authorities in Stratford County.
Chase said also that the department has developed leads on suspects from the Seacoast in regard to previously-reported Sewall Road burglaries.
In other activity, 275 violations – most of which were warnings, which the chief puts in the category of educational stops – racked up $3,336 in fines, which go to the state.
Fines for 105 paid parking ticket amounted to $1,635. 86 parking tickets remain unpaid. Chase warned that the unpaid fines escalate as time goes by and can result in the removal of driving privileges.
A total of 15 defendants reported to the court: seven entered pleas and six were arraigned. The docket was shorter, the chief explained, because the judge was on vacation for part of the month and there are no judges available to fill in.
Dispatch handled 4,392 calls in July.
Officer Pete Llewellyn was sworn in on Aug. 8 at the town hall, with family, friends and police personnel in attendance. Llewellyn can be seen about town in field training with Officer Mark Livie. His previous police work was in Alton and Barnstead.
Officer Pat Spera, hired with the federal COPS grant, was at the police academy in Concord to complete agility testing on Aug. 15 and was scheduled to begin his field training on Aug. 16.
Another hire has been deferred until January 2011 due to unfunded changes to the retirement system that became effective July 1, the middle of the budget year. The legislature's withdrawal of the state's share of pension costs have passed retirement costs down to the town. Recent modifications have reduced the severity of the impact from a 26 percent increase to the town down to a 19.5 percent increase, which may or may not change the timing of the hiring.
Police Commissioner Ron Goodgame reported on his ride with Lt. Dean Rondeau on patrol and urged the others to take advantage of the opportunity to ride with an officer to gain perspective on the job. He said he came away from the experience impressed with the civility with which Rondeau conducted business and the civility returned by those stopped during the course of the patrol.
He noted that police officers, upon arriving at the Carroll County Jail with their arrestees, then do the fingerprinting, take mug shots and fill out paper work in a process that takes about an hour and a half.
Community policing was exemplified, said Goodgame, by a stop in which Rondeau stopped a woman down by Weston Auto Body at the junction of Middleton Road and Route 28 South whose driving seemed to indicate some impairment. It turned out she was distracted by her cell phone conversation in which she was trying to find her way back to Boston. Rondeau gave her detailed directions, and she went on her way.
Goodgame said that when Rondeau looked in his rear view mirror, he saw that she had gone left up Middleton Road instead of right onto Route 28, so he turned around and stopped her to get her back on track. According to Goodgame, she looked at Rondeau and said, "What did I do wrong now?"
Rondeau answered, "You made a left turn."
"Can't you do that in this town?" she asked in frustration.
"Yes, but you needed to make a right turn," he answered and sent her off again, this time heading back to Boston.
"In how many towns can you get that kind of attention?" said Goodgame in admiration.
The next meeting of the Wolfeboro Police Commission is scheduled for September 8 at 4 p.m. in the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room.