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Weare PD asking voters to OK officer position

Union Leader Correspondent

January 22. 2018 8:13PM

WEARE — A warrant article is being proposed to voters to add another officer to the police department’s roster, in hopes of increasing coverage.

Right now, State Police have an agreement with Weare to patrol the town from 3 to 7 a.m. But if there is an incident in a another community, they might not be able to respond.

“In other words, there is no guarantee, despite a written agreement, that would have State Police coverage,” said Weare Police Chief Sean Kelly.

By adding another officer to the roster, the hope is that Weare police officers will be able to patrol the town fulltime.

There are nine officers at the department, not including Kelly. Two candidates are in the hiring process for existing positions.

If approved that would bring the number of officers to 12, plus Chief Kelly.

The additional officer would also fulfill a requirement of a collective bargaining agreement approved by the town last year.

The agreement requires that there be two officers on per shift, Kelly said, which can be difficult with current staffing levels.

“We have to have those 12 officers in order to fulfill the double cover for 24 hours, 7 days a week,” Kelly said.

The warrant article calls for raising just over $41,500 for the additional officer. This figure includes six months of wages and benefits. After that, the pay would be part of the annual operating budget.

If approved, hiring a new officer would likely take some time.

A warrant article has also been proposed to purchase two new vehicles for the police department.

The cost would be about $89,000 and would come from the undesignated fund balance.

The town approved the purchase of three new cars last year.

Town warrant articles will be discussed and can be amended at deliberative session.

The deliberative session is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 10, at 9 a.m. in the Weare Middle School cafetorium.

Public Safety Weare Local and County Government

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