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July 07. 2014 7:48PM

Manchester welcomes 14 new police recruits


Chief David Mara swears in 14 new officers, including (from left) his son, Matthew Mara, Michael McGee, Shawn McKennedy, James Pittman, Max Rahill and Sharah Thibault during a ceremony on Monday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — Police Chief David Mara swore in 14 new police officers Monday in a ceremony at the Radisson Hotel. Among the new officers is Mara’s son, Matt, 22, who most recently worked as a part-time officer with the Hampton Police Department.

Several others in the group are joining the “family business.” Angeline Alexakos is the daughter of retired Lt. Philip Alexakos, who is a part-time reserve officer with Manchester; Meghan Grant is the daughter of a former Somerville, Mass., officer and sister of a Newton, Mass., officer, and Michael McGee is the son of a Worcester, Mass., officer.

Many parents pinned the new badge on their son or daughter, including Mara, who said, “He got my old badge number.”

The chief said more than 200 men and women signed up to take the police exam and after extensive investigations, these four women and 10 men were selected.

While one of the newbies has been employed as a corrections officer for Hillsborough County, another was a Transportation Security Officer at the airport, several have worked as security officers in Massachusetts and one has been employed by the Hillsborough County Sheriff as a court officer at Circuit Court. Only one worked for a N.H. police department as a part-time officer.

With a number of veteran police officers already retired this year and more expected to retire soon, it would have been ideal to have some certified officers in the new hires.

But while the entire group will have to attend the Police Standards and Training Academy before hitting the streets, the hope is that they will stay with the department for many years.

Alexakos, 34, is the oldest of the new officers, but brings multiple degrees and experience in the corporate world to the group. “I grew up in a household with law enforcement,” she said. “This was the right time.”

Grant, who has a bachelor’s from St. Anselm College, is a graduate of the U.S Army ROTC at the University of New Hampshire, and is a Second Lieutenant with the Vermont National Guard, said, “It’s a tradition.”

Mara had praise for Hampton Police Chief James Sullivan, who gave him a job. “The training was a great experience,” said Mara. But his goal was: ” I really just wanted to work here.”

The chief told the new officers, “Whether you like it or not, you are role models.” He said they will meet the worst of society, occasionally the best and “also good people that make mistakes.”

He said, “The city of Manchester is behind you. Welcome aboard.”

The new officers range in age from 21 to 34, with most in their early 20s.


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