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Lincoln police chief placed on paid leave as town reviews finances, practices

Union Leader Correspondent

August 16. 2018 4:50PM
The Lincoln Police Department, shown here on Aug. 15, has a new commander as of Monday. At the meeting of the Board of Selectmen, Town Manager Butch Burbank announced that Capt. Jeff Burnham would be in charge and that Chief Ted Smith had been placed on paid, administrative review pending a review of the department. (John Koziol/Union Leader Correspondent)

Ted Smith, the chief of the Lincoln Police Department, shown in 2014. (John Koziol)

LINCOLN — Ted Smith, the town’s longtime police chief, was placed on paid administrative leave Monday, pending a review of the police department.

At the Aug. 13 meeting of the Lincoln Board of Selectmen, Town Manager Butch Burbank announced that as of 8 a.m. that morning, Smith was on leave and Capt. Jeff Burnham was in command.

“Initially, I will be reviewing budget issues and payments and stuff,” Burbank told the selectmen during the meeting, which was livestreamed and is available on the town’s website.

A former police chief in nearby Waterville Valley before becoming town manager, Burbank said he was moving forward with plans to hire “a professional to come in and look at the entire administrative operation of the police department.”

Because it was both an administrative decision and a personnel matter, Burbank said there would be “no further comments” about it. Burbank said the matter was not criminal.

In his chief’s message on the Lincoln Police Department’s website, Smith touts the agency’s national recognition for community policing and involvement with local schools and organizations.

More recently, Smith in the July 30 edition of the Union Leader, offered opinions on “crafting opioid policy to protect the youngest victims.”

During Smith’s tenure, the Lincoln Police Department has embraced technology to serve and protect.

In 2014, the LPD rolled out an app for smartphone and tablet users that provides information about the town; access to alerts and safety advice; and a way to provide tips about crimes.

A year later, LPD became only the second public-safety agency in New Hampshire to use the Project Lifesaver program to locate persons suffering from Alzheimer’s, autism and other cognitive conditions who’ve wandered away or gotten lost.

This June, the department became the first in the state to use an electronic license-plate-reading system.

Public Safety Lincoln Local and County Government

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