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November 26. 2012 10:33PM

Grant for $28,000 will assist with Salem police patrols

SALEM - Grant funds totaling more than $28,000 will assist the Police Department in its efforts to keep local roadways safe.

During Monday night's selectmen meeting, Deputy Police Chief Shawn Patten shared details of the pending New Hampshire Highway Safety grants, which include $9,360 for DWI/DUI patrols; $6,864 for traffic enforcement patrols; $6,864 for red light running patrols and $4,950 to be used towards the departments Operation Safe Commute campaign.

Patten said the funds would be used, specifically, to finance 30 DWI patrols, 22 traffic enforcement patrols and expanded efforts monitoring the town's many intersections.

The Operation Safe Commute campaign funds various state-directed patrols along the town's busiest roadways. The grant funding will cover the overtime salaries and benefits for participating police officers, police officials said.

The board unanimously approved acceptance of the grant funding with little discussion.

Patten said the funding assistance comes at an ideal time with the hectic holiday season now in full swing. Over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, the department received an estimated 600 calls for assistance, made 10 DWI-related arrests, responded to more than a dozen reports of shoplifting from area retail outlets and monitored Sunday's annual Holiday Parade.

"It was a pretty busy weekend," Patten said.

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