Rochester Police Commission
Rochester, NH 03867
Derek J. Peters, Chairman
Bruce E. Lindsay, Commissioner
Lucien G. Levesque, Commissioner
MINUTES OF THE POLICE COMMISSION MEETING
The Rochester Police Commission held their regular monthly meeting in City Hall Council Chambers on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. Present at this meeting was Comm. Peters, Comm. Lindsay, Comm. Levesque, Chief Allen, Dep. Chief Dumas, Capt. Toussaint, Attorney O’Rourke, Chaplain Lachapelle and Secretary Warburton as well as members of the Department, the public and the media.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 P.M.
A. Pledge. All participated in the Pledge of Allegiance.
B. Prayer. Chaplain Lachapelle led the opening prayer.
C. Roll Call. The clerk called the roll marking all Commissioner’s present.
2. PUBLIC COMMENT:
There was no public comment.
3. ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES:
A. March 2, 2016 regular meeting.
Comm. Levesque MOVED to accept the minutes of the March 2, 2016 regular meeting as presented. SECOND by Comm. Lindsay and PASSED unanimously.
4. OLD AND UNFINISHED BUSINESS:
Comm. Levesque inquired if we are still going to be offering the community outreach presentations.
Chief Allen said that we would be.
5. NEW BUSINESS:
A. Oath’s of Office
1. Off. Mark Brave
2. Off. Nicholas Alexander
City Attorney Terence O’Rourke administered the oath of office to both officers.
Chief Allen said that Mark Brave put himself through a police academy in Ohio. While his transcript was accepted, Off. Brave still has to go through some additional courses, commonly called the law package through the New Hampshire Police Academy. He is currently working on a bachelor's degree in Criminology through Southern New Hampshire University. He has law enforcement experience in Lawrence, Mass., and Augusta, Maine.
Officer Alexander is originally from California and was named an Eagle Scout in 2005. He has served eight years with the Coast Guard and still serves in the reserves, and is also a part-time marine patrol officer.
B. Awards and Recognitions.
1. Military Service Bar - Off. Alexander. This bar is given to those officers with military service.
2. Lifesaving Award - Dep. Chief Scott Dumas. With the assistance of Ricahrd Thompson, Chief Allen presented a lifesaving award to Dep. Chief Scott Dumas for his efforts in saving the life of Mr. Thompson who went into cardiac arrest while they were both at the gym. The Deputy administered CPR for about 10 minutes and had the AED in use before EMS personnel arrived.
3. Field Training Officers. Chief Allen said that the FTO’s also get a ribbon for their uniform and he recognized Officer Dominique Murphy, Officer Elizabeth Turner, Officer Marc Cilley and Officer Scott Loignon as having recently completed this training.
C. Policy Update
1. Policy Standard 1.2.3 Interviews and Interrogations: First Reading. Chief Allen said the policy review committee has been tasked with reviewing the policy manual and updating those that need to be, and where possible combining same or similar policies where it made sense to do so. This update will combine the Field Interviews policy into the Interviews and Interrogations policy. We will eliminate the separate field interview policy that currently exists. Moving forward we will also introduce a more simplistic numbering system.
Comm. Levesque MOVED to place Policy Standard 1.2.3: Interviews and Interrogations into a first reading, by title only. SECOND by Comm. Lindsay and PASSED unanimously.
D. Monthly Reports
1). Operations. Capt. Toussaint reported that five of the six wards met this period. Attendance is light with between 5 and 11 people at each meeting. The upside is those that do attend are engaged. We reviewed comp stat and how it affects neighborhoods, the drug epidemic, target hardening strategies for homes and vehicles. There was some good feedback from the residents in Ward 6 regarding a residence on King Street and the work done to shut down a nuisance residence. The neighbors were very happy.
The TAR Team was called out for what was reported as a fatal hit and run in Farmington. The topic for their monthly training centered on commercial motor vehicles.
The K9 team had an average month. There were 8 call outs, split pretty evenly between Rochester calls and County calls.
Officer Blair is working to expose other officers to the housing process and invites them to attend the weekly meetings. It helps to put a face to a name.
The Citizens Academy has completed 4 sessions. There is 16 active participants and response thus far has been very good. We are holding our comp stat meeting this month at 6 P.M. so they may participate. This is an additional session and 13 so far have confirmed they will attend. We appreciate the additional time out of their week.
Field activities remain high. We are over 1,000 stops each month. Arrests from stops are up 17%, while accidents are down 35%. We are seeing some increases in property crimes categories. We are watching those and moving our resources when appropriate. A good portion of the spike in burglary and criminal mischief can be attributed to two people who have since been arrested.
The Detective division is busy with assigned case work as well as new cases sent up for review. There were no violations noted during the 5 pawn shop checks and 29 Sex Offender checks completed this period.
We analyzed 17 phones using the Cellebrite software and assisted 7 other agencies. There is a component of a smart phone in almost every crime. The skills of our personnel are a benefit to other agencies.
Comm. Peters inquired how long it takes to “dump” a phone.
Chief Allen said it’s the analyzing that takes time, depending on the complexity of the investigation. The data dump doesn’t take that long.
Comm. Levesque asked if other agencies come in to help.
Chief Allen said this is done as mutual aid. This works both ways; if we need them for something. There is a lot of give and take in what we do. The outside agencies get their raw data to analyze. We don’t do that for them.
Comm. Lindsay asked if this takes place in a forensic lab.
Chief Allen said the equipment is in the investigations bureau. We do have a lab like that, that has specialized computer equipment for things like video analysis, DVR or other computer dumps, particularly for ICAC investigations. We can do a forensic autopsy of a computer in that lab.
In Communications Specialist Behr has been released to solo-headset. Specialist Neil Bailey who was a shift leader left our employ. Fortunately, one of our per diem specialists, who previously worked full time for us, will come back to full time so there will be no down-time.
Community Engagement Officer Miehle organized officers and worked with the Recreation Department to cook and serve breakfast to the Rochester seniors. Officers’ Blair, Harding, Pinkham and Miehle all took part. It was a great way for officers to interact with the seniors and for all to put names to faces.
He continues to monitor and post on our Face Book page. We are up to 13 thousand likes. Of the nine posts looking to identify people on surveillance photos, citizen contact identified five of them.
Off. Miehle, Bridging the Gaps Coordinator Molly Martuscello and Officer Loignon presented at some of the school vacation camps with Ready the preparedness dog from FEMA.
There were 270 youth at the most recent Teen Night.
We continue to provide assistance to the prosecution unit. Both PEO Desjardin and Lt. Gould have been assisting with the high volume of paperwork in that office.
2). Administration. Overall the projection is looking good with the bulk of the savings in salaries and benefits. We also have some savings in the fuel lines due to low prices. This will help us in a couple of other lines we are looking for additional funding in.
Dispatch projections show us in the black now that we are up to full staff.
We had looked at system enhancements in our information technology over the past year. We were able to save money in a lot of areas. One of the areas was the GPS in the cars. We have found however, that the changeover is not reliable. The system is locking up and maps are not updated. The cost savings do not outweigh the safety aspect. We will be going back to Transcor, the original vendor. This will require an upgrade of our modems to 4G. This is something we would have had to do anyway if we had stayed with Transcor originally. The cost is about $5,000.00 and we are looking to see if we can fund those in this budget.
The new SUV was delivered. It is at our radio vendor for upfitting. One piece of equipment is on back order, so while we are waiting for that, we have coordinated with the graphics vendor to get the car stickered. This replaces vehicle 9.
In training we are already working on the annual use of force requirements. In June we are working on a three day train the trainer communications session. The process from getting a Specialist up to speed takes about six months once they rotate through the shifts and all the chairs for Fire, EMS and Police. The job is stressful so the more training they receive the more confident they will feel.
We will have Officer Gagnon starting on April 18. He and Officers’ Alexander and Brave will be heading off to the agility testing for the academy that day. We are hopeful they will all pass as there are only three academies per year. If we miss the May academy, the next one is in August and we wouldn’t see this officer on the street until sometime in 2017.
We sent officers to mental health training. They all have an interest in the Crisis Intervention Team and we are working to get another 40-Hr session going. There is one scheduled in Haverhill, NH, which is going to incur overtime. We are trying to get a course here on the seacoast. We did so much work to get these programs up and running and sustainable. We keep getting directed to additional training and certifications being held in Memphis, but we just can’t do that. Manchester is in the same boat. We helped to get their team up and running. The effort for local training is being made but we are not there yet.
The second “it takes a village” program had 105 attendees. It may have attracted fewer people because there was a big faith based event the same night. This was the programming and resources that are available in the community. The engagement was high and the dialogue continues.
Dep. Chief Dumas said that he can’t say enough about the job that Molly Martuscello is doing with Bridging the Gaps. She is coming up on her first anniversary and in doing her evaluation, all the things she has accomplished in that time is impressive. She is comfortable speaking to all levels from citizens to CEO’s. She is doing a fabulous job.
1. CRASE training. Chief Allen said we have hosted several of these training sessions. It was presented to city staff, to about 60 chamber members, and two sessions were recently held at Lydall. We have six instructors so we can roll more of these programs out in a shorter amount of time. We want people to have the knowledge to prepare them if there is such an event.
Comm. Peters said he knows several people who took the class and he is hearing good things about this.
2. Notice of Retirement Intent. Chief Allen said as we know Dep. Chief Dumas has given his notice of retirement intent. This is a bittersweet moment for us, but we are happy for him and this opportunity to be the Chief in Rowley, Mass. We are losing a dedicated individual who spent a significant part of his life and career with the City of Rochester. He has done an outstanding job as a confidant and second in command. His final day with us is April 15. We are asking you to accept the retirement with deep regret.
Comm. Levesque MOVED to accept the notice with reluctance and regret. You will be missed. SECOND by Comm. Lindsay. Open for discussion.
Comm. Lindsay said when he first got involved in Rochester politics he developed a friendship with Scott, Chief Allen and Sgt. Deluca. It has been a pleasure to see how you’ve advanced. You’ve educated the Police Commission too and taught us a lot of things.
Dep. Chief Dumas said he will miss Rochester. It’s been a heck of a ride. This is a great city to be an officer in. The community is supportive of the agency and he personally has had positive experiences here. When we first moved away from the City, we didn’t plan on moving all the way home. The one thing I told my wife was that I was not leaving Rochester. If we bought the house she wanted my commute just grew by two hours daily. She was very supportive and I’ve never regretted it. It was just a commute. I will miss all the people, the great leaders I worked for. Mike was the best Chief I worked for, not to disparage the others who were good, but he allowed me to grow as an individual and his leadership prepared me for my next challenge. I have had great support from all the Police Commissions and Council I have worked with. They have a passion for the City and moving it in a positive direction. I hope I was a small part of that.
Comm. Peters commented you left your footprint on the City.
Chief Allen said this dovetails in the promotions you made this past week. We are happy to formally and publicly announce Paul Toussaint will be the next Dep. Chief and Jason Thomas will be the next Captain. These are great choices and we are looking forward to working with them and helping them grow. They will spend the next week working with the current Deputy for a smoother transition.
3. Strategic Plan FY 17. This is our guiding document. We hadn’t updated it for a couple of years, but we took a look at it this year. There were no changes made to the Mission, Vision or Value statement. Our goals were updated. You’ll have the opportunity to look at this in more detail. The goals guide our activities in the Department and we involve not just members of the Department but the business community and ward groups in crafting this. We want to be representative of our community as we work for them and they should have input into the direction the department takes and what we focus on.
Correspondence for the month included: Off. Moore is recognized by Sgt. Emerson for activity levels. Sec. Warburton is thanked by a former resident for guidance on a fraud issue. Off. Moore and Off. Powers were thanked for professional demeanor at a recent outside security detail. Off. Blair, Off. Harding, Off. Miehle and Lt. Pinkham are thanked by the Recreation Department for participating in the senior’s breakfast. Det. Mangum is recognized for team work in investigating and clearing recent burglaries. Chief Allen and Capt. Boudreau are thanked by a resident for recent training they provided on Citizen Response to Active Shooter events.
A. Information Other; enclosed with Agenda. No discussion.
8. NON-PUBLIC SESSION: (Pursuant to: RSA 91-A:3)
Commissioner Levesque MOVED to enter a nonpublic session at 8:16 P.M. pursuant to RSA 91-A: 3, paragraph II, section A (personnel) and section E (legal.) SECOND by Comm. Lindsay. The motion PASSED by roll call vote 3 – 0 with Comm. Levesque, Comm. Lindsay and Comm. Peters all voting in the affirmative. A three minute recess was called. The non-public session closed at 8:41 P.M. on a MOTION by Comm. Peters, SECOND by Comm. Lindsay and PASSED unanimously.
Comm. Lindsay MOVED to award merit increases on the respective anniversary dates to Off. Michael Miehle (3.8%) Off. John Bourque (3.05%) Off. Kyle Danie (3.65%) and Off. Charles Pendlebury (3.7%) The motion was SECONDED by Comm. Levesque and PASSED unanimously.
Comm. Levesque MOVED to adjourn. SECOND by Comm. Lindsay at 8:44 P.M.
Rebecca J. Warburton