Hooksett police chief says first year went well
After spending 25 years as a Manchester police officer, he came to the chief's job just months before the Police Commission that hired him dissolved. He supervised a massive overhaul of the department's computer software, and saw reports of both crime and arrests rise.
• Rape: Six reports in 2012, seven in 2013;
• Simple assault: 77 reports in 2012, 84 in 2013;
• Robberies: Six in 2012, six in 2013;
• Aggravated assault: 13 in 2012, eight in 2013.
"The increase in reports could be a result of us communicating better with the community. We put out a lot of press releases and have held two meetings with the public, so hopefully that has had an impact," Bartlett said.
He also hopes to see the department's roster expanded.
"We are budgeted for 25 officers right now, and I would like to see that increase to 29," Bartlett said.
Bartlett said that since the department spends a lot of time dealing with theft and shoplifting reports on the west side of town, he would like to have a dedicated unit on patrol there at all times. Shoplifting is the town's largest crime category; there were 171 reports in 2012 and 172 in 2013, he said.
One of the main goals of his first year was accomplished by a $130,000 software overhaul.
"We can look at the stats as they come in and we can make better decisions because of it. The software will help us save money that way," Bartlett said.
"I think the changes have been very beneficial to us; we are already starting to see results. It streamlines how we have done business compared to the past," Capt. Jon Daigle said.
Bartlett also said he wants to get his officers to think about crime prevention more creatively.
"I am looking to get the officers to a position where they can think proactively for things like DWI enforcement and speed enforcement. We have a lot of traffic go through this community, and I think if vigilant in those areas we can have a big impact in accident reduction," Bartlett said.
"Honestly I worked very well with them, they are great people, and I was embracing the process when I first got here," Bartlett said of the commission. "When the change happened I committed to the town council and town administrator that I would do the same thing with them."
"I think he has had a very good first year," Sullivan said.