Being the police chief in any college town is seldom an easy job. Being chief in Durham, home to the University of New Hampshire, with a physical footprint that has grown over much of the community, surely is no walk in the park.
Yet Chief Dave Kurz, who will retire on Independence Day this year, has made it work for his 21-member force, for the community, and for UNH, which has its own on-campus security force as well.
Town Administrator Todd Selig sings the chief’s praises for a policing philosophy that “police are the guardians of the community. That philosophy applies to everyone, no matter who they are, whether they are students or an elderly person in town.”
To be sure, Durham has had its unruly college crowds, which have put Kurz and his department to the test over his 24 years’ service. But the fact that a lot of Granite Staters outside of Durham don’t know the chief’s name is very much a good thing.
The fact that within Durham and on-campus Chief Kurz is known and respected is also a good thing. He will be missed, for all the right reasons.