2019 ANNUAL REPORT
The Newington Police Department would like to thank the community for your unwavering support through 2019 and we are looking forward to your continued support through 2020.
At the beginning of 2019 we conducted a community survey, focusing on the issues affecting residents and how we can better serve you. We had a tremendous response with 42% of the surveys returned. This shows us the community is involved and interested in policing in town. We learned we have an 88% favorability rate with residents, which we can improve on. Better communication and setting up safety class/programs, is what you want and is what we have been implementing.
In 2018 I conducted a three-year strategic plan outlining the goals and expectations of the police department. We have met our first year objectives and at some point exceeded our expectations in professional training and modernizing our technology. One of our goals was for the department not to be a “stepping stone” for officers, but to retain officers. Replacing officers becomes costly to the town with equipment, hiring and training. Departments rely on professional, well-trained officers with institutional knowledge to provide the best police services to the residents. Policing in Newington, we have the opportunity of knowing our populous and developing relationships. By retaining officers and having the support of the residents, the officers are invested in the town and are a piece of the fabric of the community.
After 40 years, Executive Administrative Assistant, Diana “D” St. Laurent, will be retiring in April. Diana was hired by Police Chief Stimson in 1979, when the police department shared space with the fire station over 30 years ago. Diana has seen many fine officers come and go throughout the years and considers most family. During her tenure, Diana has worked for four chiefs, including myself. She has agreed to stay with us on a part-time basis until her replacement is trained in the position. Congratulations Diana, you will be missed.
Sergeant Brandon Smart was recognized with the Life Saving Award, along with members of the Newington Fire Department, for rescuing a family from their sinking boat on the Piscataqua River. Great job everyone.
Officer Adin Sobel left the department, after three years of service, for a position with the Dover Police Department. In January, Nicholas Burns was hired after an intensive hiring process, to fill Officer Sobel’s position. Nicholas graduated from Plymouth State College with two bachelor’s degrees, double majoring in Criminal Justice and Sociology. Nicholas worked with the NH Department of Corrections and as a police officer at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Thank you to the Newington Police Commissioners, Brenda Blonigen, F. Jackson Hoyt and William Wright, for your continued support. Thank you to the members of the Newington Police Department for your untiring dedication to the community and your profession!!
Michael Bilodeau, Chief of Police
2018 ANNUAL REPORT
The Newington Police Department would like to thank the community for helping us make 2018 a successful year in reaching our goals in providing professional police services to the town. What seemed insurmountable was attained only with the support of the residents, the business, industrial districts and the New Hampshire Air National Guard.
This year we welcomed Officer Jessica Gregor as a full time police officer. Officer Gregor is a graduate from Great Bay Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Officer Gregor was first hired to fill a vacant part time position but soon filled a sudden vacant Full Time position. She graduated from the 176th New Hampshire Police Academy in August, successfully completed 14 weeks of Field Training.
In March, the town voted for the much needed 11th officer position, for each shift to have double coverage. During the hiring process, we acquired Craig Szopa from the Rockingham County Department of Corrections. Craig was officially sworn in at the end of October and set to go to the January Academy.
After three years, Officer Timothy Gordon resigned from the department, taking a position with the Department of Defense. Officer Gordon was approved by the Police Commission to stay on the department in a part time capacity.
With the resignation of Officer Gordon, this left us with another vacant Full Time position. Instead of conducting another hiring process, we pulled from the list and hired James Meyers. James graduated from Rowan University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice. James is currently attending the 178th New Hampshire Police Academy and will be graduating in May.
We continue going forward with National Accreditation by updating policies and procedures focusing on liability, accountability and risk management.
As a department, we believe in giving back to the community. Throughout the year, your officers participated in numerous philanthropic events that many members of the community also participate in.
The Newington Police Department responded to or answered 9, 803 calls for service in 2018. The majority of activity was focused on motor vehicle enforcement with 2,950 motor vehicle stops resulting in warnings, summonses or arrests. We handled 2,150 Citizen Complaints and public assistance calls, which covers; criminal investigation, motorist assists, burglar alarms, animal calls, motor vehicle accidents, police assists and requests for assistance. Your officers have conducted 1,862 self-initiated calls for service with building checks, the PDA and Great Bay Wildlife Refuge Patrol.
Thank you to the Newington Police Commissioners; Steven Prefontaine, F. Jackson Hoyt and Brenda Blonigen for your continued support. Thank you to the members of the Newington Police Department for your unwavering dedication to your profession!
Michael Bilodeau; Chief of Police
2017 ANNUAL REPORT
This is my first of many annual town reports I will be completing for the Newington Police Department as your Chief of Police. 2017 has brought many personnel changes to the department through retirements, new hires and promotions. Captain Brian Newcomer retired after 30 years of dedicated service to the Town of Newington. Officer Newcomer is still employed by the town as the police department’s part- time prosecutor. Master Patrolman Jon Garvin retired after 32 years as a Police Officer in the State of New Hampshire, 31 years of service to The Town of Newington. Thank you to both of them for their dedication to the town.
With the retirements, we had two open positions to fill. Through a long and tedious hiring process, the department, with the assistance from members from the residential, business, Air National Guard and the police department, we were able to put together a team for the hiring process. Out of 23 candidates, Aden Sobel and Patrick Costin were hired. Officer Sobel, a Keene State Graduate will be attending the 175th class of the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training in January 2018. Officer Costin, a Norwich Academy graduate, comes to us from the City of Concord, NH with two years of police service.
Patrol Sergeant Michael Sullivan was promoted to Captain, to fill the vacant Captain’s position and Officer Brandon Smart was promoted to Patrol Sergeant.
The police department has been extremely active within the walls of the building and within the community. We have been updating policies and procedures to limit liability on the town and focusing on risk management. We are concentrating on community based programs so officers are more involved with the residents. One of the programs initiated was, ‘Good Morning Newington Seniors.’ A list of phone numbers, addresses of seniors, and their family members was put together for officers to call or go to the address to make sure our seniors are safe during inclement weather.
We have been actively involved with and have developed new relationships with the Newington Public School. Our goal in 2018 is to be proactive in the classrooms by teaching the kids forensic sciences through crime scene investigations and evidence collection.
The Newington Police Department responded to or answered 10,993 calls for service in 2017. The majority of activity was focused on motor vehicle enforcement with 2,147 motor vehicle stops resulting in warnings, summonses or arrests. We handled 2,871 Citizen Complaints and public assistance calls, which covers; criminal investigation, motorist assists, burglar alarms, animal calls, motor vehicle accidents, police assists and requests for assistance. Your officers have conducted 2,587 self-initiated calls for service with building checks, the PDA and Great Bay Wildlife Refuge Patrol.
Thank you to the Newington Police Commissioners; Steven Prefontaine, F. Jackson Hoyt and Ken Latchaw for your continued support. Thank you to the members of the Newington Police Department for your unwavering dedication to your profession!
Michael Bilodeau; Chief of Police
2016 ANNUAL REPORT
During 2016 the Police Department covered 110,252 miles on our seven vehicles and received 2,618 complaints and requests for assistance. Investigations by the Department officers included 160 criminal cases, resulting in 105 criminal arrests. Officers responded to 94 animal-related calls. Officers’ efforts in the area of highway safety resulted in 28 motor vehicle arrests, 546 summonses and 2,277 motor vehicle warnings. Officers assisted motorists on 63 occasions and assisted other law enforcement officers 190 times. There were no fatal vehicle accidents in Newington in 2016. However, officers handled 26 personal injury accidents and 180 property damage accidents.
Police activities resulted in 546 cases being prepared for either the Rockingham County Superior Court or the Portsmouth District Court. The Police Department’s service and prevention program resulted in 164 commercial and residential building checks being conducted. Officers responded to 209 burglar alarms, 71 fire calls and assisted with 71 ambulance calls. The Great Bay Wildlife Refuge and Pease Trade Port received 639 and 1,228 security patrols respectively.
The Police Department continues to collect unwanted prescription drugs from residents via a drug drop box located in the Police Department lobby. Residents are encouraged to use this service to ensure that unwanted controlled drugs do not become available to unauthorized persons.
There were numerous personnel changes in 2016. Chief Jon Tretter retired after 31 years of service, with the last 11 years as Chief of Police. The new Chief, Michael D. Bilodeau, will be sworn into office on February 1, 2017. He comes to Newington from the Durham NH Police Department. Captain Brian S. Newcomer retired after 30 years of service. Captain Newcomer will be appointed Interim Chief until February 1, 2017 and then will remain with the department on a part-time basis as the Prosecutor. Officer Daniel Hurley resigned to take a position with the Seabrook Police Department. Officer Tim Gordon, a member of the Army Reserve, was deployed overseas and is scheduled return sometime in April 2017. Master Patrolman Michael Sullivan was promoted to Patrol Sergeant and Detective Tony Harland was promoted to Detective Sergeant. The three new part-time officers hired during 2016 are Timothy McClare, Andrew Wood and Justin LeDuc. On January 1, 2017 Andrew Wood will be hired as a full-time officer, replacing the opening created by Officer Hurley’s resignation.
I take this opportunity to thank the Newington Police Commissioners Steven Prefontaine, Douglas Ross, and F. Jackson Hoyt and all the members of the Police Department for their service in 2016.
Brian S. Newcomer, Acting Chief