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Dublin

Police chief proposes higher fines

Proposed increase would bump parking tickets up from $10 to $50

DUBLIN — Higher parking fines, required pet registrations and encouragement of law-abiding children are just some of the changes new Police Chief Steve Sullivan has in mind for Dublin’s near future.

At a recent Select Board meeting, Sullivan explained to the board that he would like town officials to consider increasing the parking fine amount to $50. Currently the town’s ordinance states that a parking ticket comes with a $10 fine, but Sullivan said that amount should go up to make a bigger impact on those who violate the ordinance.

“A fine is supposed to bite a little bit so you don’t do it,” Sullivan said in an interview Wednesday. “I feel that the fines are extremely low and we should look at the them.”

Sullivan previously worked as an officer with the Portsmouth Police Department in Rhode Island, where the parking fine amount was $50 per ticket. He said police should look to enforce parking fines, especially with summer on the way.

Sullivan said in the past there have been issues with parking around Dublin Lake in the summer and a higher fine may help. The board did not make any decision about the proposal to up the fine at the meeting.

Because Dublin police does not have an animal control officer, police officers respond to animal complaints and bring any rescued or lost animal to the Monadnock Humane Society in Swanzey.

Right now, Sullivan said if a lost pet without a collar is picked up by police and brought to the Humane Society, the owner can go and pick it up, and continue to keep the pet without any identification.

Sullivan said it doesn’t make sense for police to go pick up an animal without identification and the animal goes home without any. He would like to require pet owners to license their animals before taking it back home. The Select Board has taken the idea under advisement.

In other business, Sullivan reported that police will now be handing out “Cookie Citations” to young people observed abiding the law. “Like a child riding their bike with a helmet on,” Sullivan said, as an example.

Cookie Citations was an idea Officer Dan Cheshire of the Dublin police put forward to help encourage good behavior.

Police who observe good behavior will stop the individual, tell them why they were stopped, and give them a citation. The child can then go to the Dublin General Store and use the citation to receive a free cookie, Sullivan said. Cheshire already purchased a bunch of cookies from the store for future citations.

Another Portsmouth practice Sullivan hopes to bring to Dublin is the use of business contact sheets. These sheets would provide contact information for police to reach business owners in town, after their business has closed for the day. He said they would be helpful when an emergency happens at night and police wouldn’t otherwise be able to easily reach the business owner.

Police have begun issuing Cookie Citations, but discussion among the police and the board continues on the other suggestions.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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