Chief Willard to families of new recruits: ‘It’s our duty to protect your loved ones’

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MANCHESTER, NH – Before you look at the faces of Manchester Police Department’s newest sworn officers, or read their personal bios below, take a moment to listen to the words spoken by Chief Nick Willard, as he welcomed them to the police force [click the SoundCloud player above.]

Those familiar with his usual breezy cadence will detect a heaviness there. Willard admitted he was uncharacteristically lost for words, given the national tragedies that have unfolded around the country over the past few weeks, in which officers have been targeted by shooters.

“Law enforcement’s going through a really tough time right now, and I bear the burdens of 237 officers, just like each one of you, when you send your loved one off to work,” said Willard. “I don’t sleep much, these days.”

He told the four officers his expectation is that they will police with compassion, dignity and humility, “but that doesn’t mean you can’t be tough as nails; you be as tough as nails as you need to be…”

It’s a powerful message.

Stephen D. Bates Jr.

Officer Steve Bates Jr.

Stephen is 21 years old. He was raised in East Hartford, Ct., and is a graduate of East Catholic High School in Manchester, Ct. In May of 2016, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Anthropology/Sociology, from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.

While attending college, Stephen earned certification as a fire fighter, and since 2013, has been employed by Plymouth Fire and Rescue as an on-call fire fighter.

Garrett M. Bombard

IMG_1375Garrett is 33 years old. He was raised in Holden, Mass., and graduated from Wachusett Regional High School in 2001. Upon graduating from high school Garrett attended Roger Williams College and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in business management and a minor in fiance and psychology.

Garrett started his law enforcement career as a police officer with the Arlington County police department in Virginia in 2006. His most recent assignment with the Arlington County Police Department was an assignment to the Second Division Community Policing Team. He also served as a field training officer, driving instructor, and a member of the department’s crisis intervention team.

Garrett and his wife Sarah are the proud parents of  19-month-old Vincent.

Patrick C. Colburn

Officer Pat Colburn flanked by his parents, Susan, left, and Jim.

Patrick is 29 years old. He was raised in Merrimack, and is a graduate of Merrimack High School – class of 2005.   He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Sociology from Franklin Pierce University in 2009.

Patrick enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2010, serving as an infantryman and a team leader until his honorable discharge at the rank of sergeant, in 2013. During his time in the Army he was deployed to Iraq for one year.

Upon his discharge from the Army, Patrick joined the Concord Police Department and is a 2014 graduate of the 163rd session of the NH Police Academy.

John P. Hare

Officer John Hare.

John is 22 years old. He was raised, and currently resides in, Derry. He is a graduate of Pinkerton Academy, class of 2012, and is currently studying toward a degree in Justice Studies at Southern New Hampshire University.

John has served with the U.S. Army Reserves since 2013 and is currently assigned to the 94th Military Police Company out of Londonderry.

About Carol Robidoux 6560 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!