Alstead Police Department
2021 is in the books! Before I address some of our normal year in review topics, I would like to take a moment to thank our emergency services crews and our highway department. I implore you all to do the same. These people are out there every day in the worst of weather, physical and mental conditions, so that others may stay safe in their homes or on our roads and receive treatment or help as soon as possible. Often taken for granted, please thank these important, invaluable members of our community when you see them.
This year saw our call volume come back up towards our pre 2020 numbers. Not quite there yet but within two hundred. Some of the trends we saw in 2020 continued into 2021, especially with regard to family type crimes, including crimes against children. Thankfully Corporal Rawling has received extensive training in this area and our department maintains very close working relationships with DCYF, the CAC and the NHSP. This training and other agency cooperation help create an atmosphere where victims can feel safe, listened to and cared about while going through difficult times.
Throughout the year the department, coordinated by Penny and Wendy, participated and/or sponsored multiple Community Outreach programs including; Bi-annual Drug Takeback day, a Bike Helmet giveaway (partnered with CHAD and Kohl’s Cares) at the Community Yard Sale, Langdon Fall Festival Bike Helmet giveaway, Trunk or Treat attended by approximately 200 children and their families, and the Christmas Tree lighting (with all the accompanying activities).
Training for this year continued to be almost completely online with very few classes being offered in person. This will probably continue for the foreseeable future. That being said, we never stop training to keep up with our current skills and learn new ones. Office Administrator Gendron attended a NH Municipal Association: Right-to-Know Workshop for Law Enforcement, a 3-day FBI NIBRS training course and all of us renewed our CPR/AED certification with the Alstead Ambulance Department. Cpl. Rawling and I completed a few courses put on by the Attorney General’s office including AG’s Protocol for Law Enforcement Response to DV cases and Victims, Trauma and You. She also took a course from the National Children’s Advocacy center called Forensic Interviewing of Children, and several FEMA courses including Hazardous Materials Awareness, National Incident Management System (NIMS), and Incident Command. I was trained in Digital Evidence, Liability and Preservation as well as Animal Cruelty Investigations.
2021 began the Governor and AG’s office list of required training that will be put in place over the next few years. The first courses are called the “3x2’s”. These are two-hour blocks on the topics of Ethics, Implicit Bias and De-Escalation. Wendy and I took these three courses early on in 2021 from a vendor called Blue to Gold. Then in July Police Standards and Training launched a new online training platform with their own “3x2s” on it. We had to take those courses as well. 2022 will see us adding to our required yearly training hours (from AG office and PSTC) as well as maintaining all past yearly mandatory training. This required training is great; however, it does not change the fact that we have been committed to the same level of excellent service for all persons, regardless of who they are or their backgrounds for as long as we have had a police department.
In a time where police officers and quality team members are in short supply, (and constantly trying to be recruited elsewhere) I simply cannot possibly say it enough, THANK YOU to Penny, Wendy and Dean for all your hard work this past year. Our town is fortunate to have them working here.
As a final thought, this year continued to sow seeds of division and discrimination of others with opposing viewpoints throughout our country and the world. Please be respectful of our individual right to choose what happens with our own health, agreement is not necessary, but respect is.
Thank you all for your continued support of our department.
Stephen D. Murrell
Chief of Police