Hancock Select Board accepts state grants for Police Department

  • The Hancock Select Board accepted two grants for the Hancock Police Department on Monday night. STAFF PHOTO BY ROWAN WILSON

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/7/2023 2:18:56 PM

The Hancock Select Board accepted two state grants that would benefit the Police Department Monday evening.

The first grant was $25,000 to purchase body-worn cameras for police officers.  

“I think the grant is significant,” said Chief Thomas Horne. “The State of New Hampshire is saying body-worn cameras are on their way in.”

Horne believes the state will soon mandate body cameras in all police departments. 

“Transparency right now is a big issue, certainly with the sentiment in the nation,” Horne said, adding that cameras are useful in investigations of officer misconduct and they are “the most-effective mechanism to witness behavior of officers.”

The grant includes money that will go toward purchasing body-worn, dashboard and prison compartment cameras that would all sync with the officers’ body cameras. Horne said, “With the state providing funding, it’s a good opportunity to get ahead of the curve.”

Town Moderator Ric Haskins asked if body cameras were required by the town’s insurance provider. 

“To date, there’s no mandate from our insurance to have this. But I can’t imagine a scenario when they wouldn’t want it. My guess is they probably support it,” said Town Administrator Jonathan Coyne. “It eliminates the risk for the town for any potential insurance claims.”

Horne said that with town approval, the cameras would be ordered, and when they would be instated would depend on availability.

Since the Select Board accepted the grant, Coyne said the warrant article regarding purchasing body-worn and vehicle cameras for the Police Department has now been deleted. Since it was grant-funded, the Select Board was able to accept the funds during the meeting, and the remaining $6,000 will come from the Police Special Detail Revolving Fund and will have no tax impact, as was stated in the warrant article.

The second grant is $7,400 from New Hampshire Department of Highway Safety as part of a safety grant. Horne explained that the grant would offer officers overtime pay to provide speed enforcement on New Hampshire state roads. The pay would come from the grant and would not have a tax impact. The grant specifies that the state would be looking for at least three stops per hour. Horne said an officer called by an on-duty officer for backup would go help.

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