LITTLETON- The need for an additional patrol officer has the Littleton Police Department hoping voters will vote “YES” on Town Meeting Day. With more complex cases such as drug investigations, sex abuse crimes, and credit card fraud, Chief Paul Smith believes a new officer is essential for safety.
“We’re at an epidemic level for heroin drug abuse issues and it creates a lot of downtime when officers really have to get into these investigations,” says Smith. “We need officers out on the street doing foot patrol, motor vehicle patrol, bike patrol, a lot of proactive patrol.”
The department currently employs 10 full-time officers and 3 part-time officers, but with more time spent on more complex investigations, less time is being spent on daily operations.
“We need another officer, boots on the ground,” says Smith.
According to the Town Warrant, the department is requesting a nine month estimated cost of $63,474 with the purpose to increase patrols. The total includes benefits, equipment, and uniforms. If the full cost of $85,911 for a full year is approved, the full cost will be added to 2017’s proposed budgets.
In addition to a new police officer request, the department is also hoping voter’s say yes to a new police cruiser. The department has had a full-size Ford Expedition for the past 7 years.
“[It’s] seen some wear and tear on the road; end of cycle, end of life,” says Smith.
The estimated cost for a new rig is about $35,000 but the department is requesting just over $43,000.
Voting kicks off on Tuesday, March 8th in the Granite State. Polls are located at the Littleton Highway Garage.