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Angry Manchester residents show up in force at police community meeting
Manchester residents learn about burglar-proofing their homes during a Manchester Police Department community meeting Thursday night. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
While police had charts up at the meeting showing how many violent crimes and other incidents took place in the city over the last three years, the laser-like focus of nearly every speaker was a recent spike in burglaries — like the one in which a delivery for Seamus' birthday was stolen near his family's back door.
"I want to know, as a parent and as a citizen, what is going to happen to prevent this from happening?" Sullivan said.
Police Chief David Mara said his department is trying its best, but must find ways to do things better and needs more officers to patrol the city.
"We're not making excuses," Mara said more than once.
Mara repeated his stance, with Mayor Ted Gatsas and several aldermen present, that the department needs more than the roughly 220 officers on duty now.
Assistant Chief Nick Willard said the Police Department was planning to apply for grants to purchase a $38,000 in-house fingerprint analysis software kit — the department now has prints analyzed by a state police lab in Concord. Gatsas stood up and promised to appropriate city funds for the purchase.
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