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Hooksett ushers in new era with new police chief

Union Leader Correspondent

January 07. 2013 11:03PM
Hooksett Police Chief Peter Bartlett, right, is sworn in by Capt. Jon Daigle. (BRENDAN CLOGSTON PHOTO)

HOOKSETT - Peter Bartlett was sworn in as Hooksett's new police chief Monday evening in a ceremony attended by his family, department employees, the Police Commission, Hooksett residents, and town government officials.

After the swearing in, Bartlett's son Ryan, standing next to the new chief's other two children, Jake and Sydney, pinned the badge on his father's uniform.

The chief then gave a brief statement, thanking the town for its confidence in him. He also spoke about the revitalization he wants to bring to the department.

"If you stop by my office ... you'll see that my office is painted a different color than every other wall in this building," Bartlett said during his remarks. "That's because a freshly painted office is so much more than a different color on the wall: it represents change, and a willingness not only to move away from beige walls, but business as usual here at Hooksett police. An opportunity to resurface an already solid inner structure of good, professionals officers and employees who have dedicated themselves to serve this community for a safer place to live, work, and play."

"My office was painted by me as proof that I am committed to this new beginning," Bartlett continued, "and it starts with me, in my office."

The audience gave his swearing in and his speech a standing ovation.

Residents and town councilors present spoke optimistically about Bartlett's appointment.

"By all indications, he seems like a good hire," said Councilor Vincent Lembo. "I hope he settles in well."

"It's a good day for the town," said Councilor John Danforth. "We're going to have a qualified officer to lead the department going forward. Things are only going to get better from here."

The Police Commission has also expressed pride in the chief, saying it signals a "new era" in the town.

"It's very exciting to be at this juncture, to be able to swear the new chief in," said Police Commission Chair Joanne Mchugh.

"We look forward to a new era in Hooksett and it starts today," said Police Commissioner Kenneth Scherer. "Hooksett is back, and back in a good way in the news and we're excited."

Monday was also Bartlett's first day at the department, which he spent primarily meeting with the employees and finalizing paperwork, all of which he said went well.

"Everybody's been so great," he said of his first day meeting with the staff. "They've been very welcoming. It was good."

Bartlett, who salary in Hooksett is $95,000, had previously served with the Manchester olice Department for 24 years, with nine of those years as a supervisor. He retired from the department in 2011 as a lieutenant. He was also the president of the Manchester Association of Police Supervisors. Bartlettholds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and graduated from the New Hampshire Police Academy in 1987. While in Manchester, he was awarded the Chief's Achievement Award and a Meritorious Service Medal.

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