Police Commission: Preparing for ‘Joshua’s Law,’ new officers complete training this week

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Highlights from the Dec. 7 Police Commission Meeting
Manchester Police Commissioners from left, Tom Roy, Woullard Lett, Richard Bunker, William Clifford and Eva Castillo.
Manchester Police Commissioners from left, Tom Roy, Woullard Lett, Richard Bunker, William Clifford and Eva Castillo.

MANCHESTER, NH – A new law adding protection for victims of domestic violence, “Joshua’s Law,” will go into effect Jan. 1. During the Dec. 7 meeting of Manchester’s Police Commission, Lt. Maureen Tessier pointed out that the law, enacted in response to the shooting death of Joshua Sayvon in 2013 by his father at the YWCA, will not change the way police respond to domestic violence calls, but rather will allow designation and tracking of domestic violence crimes.

Prior to Joshua’s Law, NH was among 15 states without a domestic violence law.

Other highlights of the Dec. 7 meeting:

  • The Police Sex Offender Compliance Unit is addressing an “unusual spike” in non-compliant offenders. There were 14 logged in November. Grant funding from the U.S. Marshal’s Service will be used to conduct compliance checks.
  • A JAG grant has funded active-shooter vests and first-aid kids for the Patrol Division.
  • There will be two K-9 Unit vacancies as of January. Two replacement officers are to be identified for training.
  • Patrol officers have benefitted from recent training classes funded by money set aside by Chief David Mara to cover the OT normally associated with hiring an officer to replace one out for training.
  • Although there have been 18 new hires, it is a net-gain of 9 officers due to recent retirement and promotions, effective January 2015.
  • The city is upping its efforts to monitor abandoned properties and will work with the City Clerk’s office to maintain a database of target properties.
  • A grant is in the works to launch an after-school basketball program in the spring as part of the department’s Urban Violence initiative.
  • An entry-level police test had 140 applicants. Of those, 41 did not show up for the exam, leaving a final list of 37 potential candidates to begin background checks on.
  • Two new police dispatchers will be hired in December. However, one dispatcher resigned in November, leaving one vacancy.
  • Fourteen new recruits will graduate Dec. 12 from the NH Police Academy. Field training begins Dec. 22.
  • The department must work on hiring more female and minority officers.
  • The Juvenile Unit has been investigating a case of twin 9-year-old boys who were left unattended while their parents traveled back to Africa. An uncle who was supposed to care for them has been charged with endangering the welfare of the children.
  • Chief Mara reported that there has been a 6-7 percent overall decrease in crime in 2014, compared to 2013, and he is setting a similar goal for 2015.
  • A swearing-in ceremony is set for Jan. 5 at 10 a.m for the promotion of two captains, five lieutenants and five sergeants.
  • Retirements/resignations: Dispatcher Kathryn Flynn resigned Nov. 30 after five years, for a position with Hooksett Police Department; Officer Din Jenkins Sr. resigned Dec. 1 after two years. He has taken a position with Stoughton, Mass., Police; Officer Erland Jason Torrey resigned as of Dec. 9 after nearly two years. He has taken a job with Las Vegas Police.

You can read the full minutes of the Dec. 7 meeting here.

About Carol Robidoux 5791 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.