Dublin police chief presents more information on need for third cruiser

  • Dublin Police Chief Tim Suokko wants to add a third car to his fleet.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, September 14, 2017 11:41AM

Dublin Police Chief Tim Suokko presented additional information to the Select Board on Monday about his desire to add a third cruiser to his fleet during the next budget cycle. 

Suokko first approached the board during its Aug. 7 meeting, expressing interest in purchasing a new cruiser next year and not decommissioning the one that is a year overdue to be replaced, according to the currently capital improvements plan. 

“The department will be able to optimize services, increase revenue, and extend the longevity of the vehicles without adding additional costs to the taxpayers,” said Suokko, during his presentation. 

Suokko said he had reviewed data and believes he can get seven years out of each cruiser, rather than the six years he previously told the board. Currently, the chief’s cruiser is on a seven-year replacement cycle, with the other cruiser on a four-year cycle. 

The second cruiser is currently shared by two full-time and three part-time officers, with the chief’s car being with him “90-percent” of the time. Adding a third cruiser would allow a car to be assigned to each full-time officer, with the ability for more details and grant-funded patrols to be completed. 

Suokko told the board that the town is missing out on potential revenue streams, most of which could be gained by accepting more police details. Suokko said that after the officer is paid for a detail, the town can pull at least $77.68 per detail, based on the number of hours worked. 

Suokko also said that adding a third cruiser would not require the town to purchase any additional cruisers over the next 15 years, with Suokko shifting the length that each cruiser would be retained by the town. Whether the town carries two or three cruisers, six vehicles will have to be purchased. 

In other business, the selectmen have decided to decrease the speed limits on all dirt roads in town to 30 mph, with the exception of Old County Road, which is already posted at a different speed. 

The board looked into the issue after receiving numerous complaints. Suokko provided the board with data, showing that average speeds on each dirt road were below 25 mph, and that there had only been four accidents on such roads since 2010, but the board still decided to lower the speed limit from 35 mph. 

During his monthly meeting with the board, road agent Brian Barden was asked about a $6,000 repair needed to one of the town’s plow trucks. Barden said the truck had a cracked transmission bell housing, which was caused by the driver hitting some trees with the wing of the plow. Barden said he has already spoken to the employee about the issue. 

Barden also said he gathered preliminary estimates for a potential warrant article to fund replacing the highway department’s 500-gallon diesel tank with a 2,000-gallon tank.

“”I got a proposal for the tanks… it’s going to scare you,” said Barden. 

The cost, according to one company, would be $62,170 for an above-ground tank and around $51,000 for a below-ground tank.

Town Administrator Sherry Miller said she has also reached out to a company for an estimate. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.