Police chief proposes more changes

DUBLIN — New Dublin police chief Steve Sullivan continues to show interest in updating the police department to make it a safer and more prepared environment.

At Monday’s Select Board meeting, Chief Sullivan brought forward some concerns about unsecured guns and the need to purchase new radios and keep the third cruiser.

Sullivan said he was at the meeting to try to convince the board to keep the police vehicle that they currently want to sell at an auction. This vehicle, a Ford Interceptor, would be moved to a backup role but would remain at the police station. Sullivan said the vehicle would be helpful over the summer because he will be taking police classes and will be using one of the three cars to travel. This would potentially leave only one vehicle for officers to use on duty.

“Having a third vehicle would come in handy,” Sullivan said.

Select Board Chair Sterling Abram said that the problem the board has with keeping the vehicle is that if they keep all three, then residents may get the impression that the department is recruiting a new officer. Currently, the town has two full-time officers on staff besides Chief Sullivan. Ultimately, the town has yet to determine what they’ll do with the third vehicle.

“We haven’t made any decisions,” Town Administrator Sherry Miller said Wednesday

Outdated police radios were another issue brought before the board. Motorola no longer makes parts for the type of radios Dublin police use, Sullivan told the board. “[The radios] could break tomorrow or in two years,” Sullivan said. The board approved purchasing a radio for the newest police vehicle to begin the process of replacing the equipment.

Sullivan also mentioned that he sees the need to buy a gun locker for the department because police officers cannot have a gun on their person when dealing with suspects at the station. Sullivan said that currently officers leave their guns in their office drawers when at the station. There is no gun locker, he said, and he recommends purchasing one in the near future.

“I can tell you I have unsecured guns in my office right now,” Sullivan said.

Another concern Sullivan discussed was the procedure with picking up juveniles from the Phoenix House on Pierce Road.

“I was sitting in the police department for three hours on Saturday with a 20-year-old girl from the Phoenix House who was evicted for fighting,” Sullivan said. The girl voluntarily went to the Phoenix House, so they can legally evict her. Her guardian was in Seabrook so it took a while to get her picked up so Sullivan had a camera on her the whole time. Sullivan was the only officer on duty at the time.

“We’re public servants, we do things that probably are not police work,” Sullivan said. Abram said he found what happened, “odd” and said that this is not how police have handled concerns with the Phoenix House in the past. The board and Sullivan discussed that perhaps in the future, the plan could be that the Phoenix client wait at the House until a guardian is able to pick them up.

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

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