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Selectmen approve PD's use of surplus military equipment


June 20, 2012
Selectmen approved the Police Department's efforts to acquire surplus military equipment through the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) for use by the police department at no cost to the town at their meeting Wednesday, June 13.

Gilford Police Lt. Kris Kelley briefed selectmen on his work with LESO to get a HMMWV motor carrier, commonly called a hummer.

According to Kelley, the LESO distributes equipment that is no longer in use or needed by the Federal government, and is usually still in very good or new condition.

Kelley said that the vehicles they are interested in have low mileage, between 500 to 2,500 miles, are diesel powered, and get about 14 miles per gallon.

According to Kelley, the vehicle would be used for special purposes like extreme weather conditions, traveling to hard to reach areas not accessible by regular cruisers, and moving barricades, cones and other large objects.

Kelley said they would be required to cover costs for registration, which Police Chief Kevin Keenan said is about $8, and regular maintenance like oil changes. Kelley said they could also get tires for free through the LESO and could return the vehicle in the case of any major mechanical issues.

Keenan added that this would help delay their regular replacement of equipment and cruisers, as it would reduce wear and tear on their current equipment.

Selectmen approved the acquisition under the condition that it does not cost taxpayers anything.

The board also when on record to commend police efforts to spend wisely, getting new equipment while ultimately saving money. Selectmen said purchases like the new police Harley Davidson and Ford Interceptor help save taxpayers money while keeping the police well equipped to serve the town.

According to Keenan, police usually replace two cruisers each year. This year, Keenan said, they replaced one cruiser with the new Interceptor and leased the new motorcycle — each less than the usual cost of a typical cruiser. Keenan said the two vehicles also will help save on gas, with the new Interceptor equipped with a six-cylinder engine instead of the typical eight-cylinder.

According to Keenan, the department leases the motorcycle for $3,900 per year, which includes service and outfitting the bike with all needed equipment.

"The motorcycle provides the same service as a cruiser, but with about one-third fuel savings," said Keenan.

Selectmen also accepted a $500 donation from the Wal-Mart Foundation towards the Gilford DARE Program.

In other business, selectmen received a response from New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement from their April 25 petition for the discontinuance and use of the right-of-way at the junction of Route 11-A and Rout 11-B for a memorial park dedicated to Gilford Safety Employees.

In the letter, Clement expressed safety concerns for motorists over the proposed design of the T-intersection, though they preferred the idea of a T-intersection over the current Y-junction. He also stated concern with handing excess "traffic volumes, truck movements, the need for turning lanes" along with highway drainage, site layout and funding.

Clement suggested further discussion with the NH-DOT District Three Engineer and Municiple Highway Engineer to address concerns and plan the next step.

Selectman Kevin Hayes requested to represent the Board of Selectmen at the meeting.

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