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Derry police seek grant to pay for trail patrols


DERRY — Derry police could soon be able to patrol the Rockingham Trail more frequently to check for reckless OHRV operators and speeders.

Town councilors voted Tuesday night to allow staff to begin the process of applying for a grant through the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game. Owned by the state, a section of the Rockingham Trail runs through Derry.Derry Police Chief Edward Garone presented the request for the grant funding to councilors. He said the grant is funded through OHRV registrations with the state.Garone said the grant is unusual because the amount of money that will be distributed hasn’t been determined yet. In addition, Derry may not be included in the grant funding that will be distributed to communities throughout the state.Garone said by receiving approval from the council and applying for the grant, New Hampshire Fish and Game will be informed that Derry is among the other police departments interested in receiving grant funding.“This is an indication that we are willing to do it, and that we have the equipment to do so,” Garone said.

Garone explained the formula for how the police department would use any grant funds it receives. The total amount of money received would be divided by the department’s hourly rate of $60.88 per hour. This will yield the number of patrols the department can conduct, he said.

Garone said it’s uncertain how much money the department could receive as there is a greater need for patrols in the North Country, where there is a 1,000-mile-long state trail that recently opened.

But any money received could help increase the police presence on the trail, he said.

Councilor Thomas Cardon asked about the type of complaints police typically receive for OHRV operators using the trail. Garone responded that the department usually receives complaints for speeding, reckless operation and for operators acting disorderly or intoxicated.

When asked by Councilor Joshua Bourdon, Garone said any patrols that are assigned to the trail from the grant funding wouldn’t take away from the department’s regular duties.

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