Rindge PD Update – Changes for the current COVID-19 guidelines

Due to the ongoing Federal guidelines relating to COVID-19, the front office will have limited access for the public to limit contact as has been suggested. We will post a sign on the door as to how we are handling public interactions.

During the normal business hours, the front door will be locked and the public is asked to use the silver intercom call box to speak to someone inside the PD. If there is no response, the blue call box can be used to call our dispatch center directly, 24/7. We are asking the community attempt to conduct business with us, including scheduling appointments for pistol permit pick-ups etc, via a phone call. The best line for 24/7 service will be our dispatch phone number: 603-355-2000 (Cheshire County Sheriff’s Office).

Below is a list of changes made:

  • There is also now an online form for anyone wishing to make a NON-EMERGENCY report to us. This is found on our website and through this link.
  • The DEA Drug Take-back Day has been cancelled. We are looking forward to hosting this in the Fall as we have done the past several years.
  • We ask the public to respect the “social distancing” rule using the 6 foot recommended distance.
  • If we respond to your house or business, please do not be offended if we conduct interaction outdoors or through doors/windows.

While we are in uncharted territory here, we are following all the recommended guidelines. Some of these decisions were also made at the recommendation of the town this morning and are effective immediately. Please call us as we will keep our normal staffing during this time. We will work with the public to address issues as they arise and have the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to respond when necessary. We are preparing to offer the best support that we can, while abiding by best practices to limit exposure. Thank you all in advance ~ Chief Anair.

Hiring…. again

As the newly published Town Report is being distributed among town, I have the unfortunate part of changing part of the report. Since I wrote the report and it was submitted, the Rindge Police Department has lost another officer. Officer Brianna Rogers (hired last March) last day in Rindge was February 29th. She started her new position with the Jaffrey Police Department on March 2nd.

The continued turnover is a drain on all of us and an expense to the town. Recruiting new officer is very difficult in a highly competitive field (due to low applicants). Small towns like Rindge end up being the training grounds for countless officers who take their knowledge and experience elsewhere. This was a trend I felt we had a good handle on but the inevitable fact is that Rindge is just not competitive enough with neighboring towns (literally right next door).

During the hiring process we will continue to answer ALL calls for service but will have to alter some schedules to make sure that all the shifts are covered. Yes this even means that the Chief will go back to working midnight shifts for a few weeks to get us through.

Please take a minute to thank the officers when you see them over the next months as they are likely forfeiting their own personal and sometimes vacation plans to make sure that the town is being covered. I also encourage you all to help me get the job listing posted so that we may find the best qualified and best fit officer for the Town of Rindge.

https://rindgepolice.com/employment/

Not like on TV

Come on admit it. You all have that favorite TV show you love where the show starts, some major crime happens and within the hour (including commercials) the bad guy is caught prosecuted and in jail. It’s a satisfying ride, right? Justice served swiftly and fairly and in an hour or less. It is always amazing, they lift a fingerprint (every time) or get DNA they then take to some laptop, phone or tablet, upload it and the analysis magic happens and then BOOM – a match!! The next scene they are kicking in the door of that person and rifling through their belongings looking for evidence and taking them in for questioning. The police throw all sorts of evidence at them, there is the inevitable stare down between the good guy and bad guy and case closed! Such a thrilling episode…..

Well, then there is real life. What does real life for a small town NH police officer mean? Well for one, LOTS of paperwork. We respond, take the initial report look for evidence, take it back process it ourselves, document it, photograph it, seal it in evidence packaging, draw a report, then a property number then it goes to the one and only forensics lab in the State. The lab is located in Concord with specific hours, and you can’t just go at any time since an appointment to drop your evidence off is needed. Then, it gets prioritized in several different categories. Was it property crime? Is there a known suspect? Are there charges or a court date pending? – Depending on the answer, your evidence may end up at the bottom of the stack. Most of the time, this is the case. Now, the waiting game begins. It could be months and sometimes years before you have any results. But then still, now what?

The officer has a lot more paperwork to do. Depending on the severity of the case, we could draft a warrant and try to locate the person or it goes to the County Attorney Office where the case is looked at to see if it is deemed a “prosecutable” case. If so, then a date for Grand Jury is set. They only meet once a month and you are one of 23 towns that also only has the one date a month to go in front of the Grand Jury. If you are lucky, then the case is heard within 3 months of the completed case being sent up. Now, during that time, the victim in the case gets more and more frustrated and questions arise: What is going on? How come there has not been an arrest? Are you even taking my case seriously? Are your officers properly trained?

TV shows such as CSI, NCIS, The Closer are all good TV shows, but that is just it; it’s a show. It’s entertainment. Even more “real time” shows such as Live PD do not show the behind the scenes parts such as reports and paperwork. This does not attract potential watchers as we can all watch most of our own co-workers doing paperwork. It is not a ratings driver is it?

I wanted to put out this bit of “insider information” so that the public was aware of the hurdles and issues that arise when attempting to investigate and work a case. It is frustrating for our victims and for our community and hopefully this insight provides a little more understanding as to the process we have to follow while conducting our investigations.

Tire Fires

With the recent events that occurred Friday night, 1/24/2020, at North of the Boarder (NOTB) the PD has been in full investigative mode. This means that all officers are working on leads, taking phone calls, emails and working every tip that comes in. The community has thrown their support (rightfully so) around the store owners who are residents, tax payers and a part of our community. As I was at home and getting alerts of two tire fires that happened in town, one early Sunday morning at around 1:32 am and the other at 10:38 pm, I am brought to the realization of how bothered I am by these continued events.

Here, we have a major incident in town and all of the department resources going toward solving this but now we have to divert services to deal with a completely senseless act. Services of BOTH the police and fire are taken to opposite ends of town causing unnecessary response. Now there will also be a fee associated with repair work to the road (as the heat of the fire caused damage) that will undoubtedly end up in tax dollar revenue of some kind. At what point does this “harmless” act become something more then what it is portrayed as? It is always nothing, until it is…

In the year of 2019 we responded to 14 tire fires throughout the town. In the last few years, we have had two specific incidents where people have sustained damage to their vehicle because of these tire fires. Imagine, your family is traveling home with your young child sleeping in the back seat. You see something in the road, but it is dark (as almost every tire fire is after dark) you are trying to see what it is – animal, vehicle – what is it? You realize it is debris of some sort, you jam on the brakes and try to avoid it but strike it causing damage to your car. You get out and call for help and when the dispatcher asks what you struck in the road, you realize it was a pile of tires stacked in the middle of the travel lane in the road.

How have we as a community gotten to the point where this is considered acceptable behavior? Take these incidents at their core for what they are…. Arson.

ar·son/ˈärs(ə)n/Learn to pronouncenoun

  1. the criminal act of deliberately setting fire to property.”police are treating the fire as arson”

Each time one of these event are done you have someone committing an arson. Any time damage to the road is done, now you have another criminal act – Vandalism

van·dal·ism/ˈvandlˌizəm/Learn to pronouncenoun

  1. action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property.”an act of mindless vandalism

So at what point does it come to an end? When someone loses a life over them? Either the arsonist trying to light the fire and it causes an explosion of the various chemicals used to ignite the fire? Is it the innocent passerby that is reporting it just as the fuels finally ignite and they are injured? One life is too great of a cost for something so senseless, and too many lives have been lost in town due to senseless actions that have happened in town over the years.