Rindge warrant article seeks additional police officer

  • Rindge Police Department Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/14/2022 1:29:27 PM
Modified: 1/14/2022 1:28:35 PM

A petition warrant article seeks to add an officer onto the Rindge Police Department this year.

Currently, the department is budgeted for nine full-time officers, though its current roster is short two members.  

Article 15, submitted by petition of 38 signatures, requests $57,736 to increase the size of the force by one full-time officer. The request comes on the heels of last year’s Town Meeting, where a warrant article – that one put forth by the town, not by petition – asked for the same amount for a ninth officer position.

In both cases, the amount requested only represented a partial year’s worth of salary and benefits, with the new officer expected to be hired no sooner than the start of April. A full year’s pay and benefits for the ninth officer approved in 2021 was expected to be $80,881. 

While at one point in the past year, the town had a full police roster, it has struggled to maintain a full staff, Police Chief Rachel Malynowski said Friday.

“We have had difficulty recruiting qualified candidates, or really any interest, for the open positions. The ninth position was filled last year by Officer Scott Merrell’s arrival but he was quickly moved up to fill the eighth position, leaving the ninth open again,” Malynowski said. “Now that I am better acclimated to my new position, a main focus will be recruitment to fill the open positions, which will alleviate some of the overtime and stress for the existing members. I would also say that those are the main issues we are facing at the moment.”

Malynowski said despite the recruitment struggles the department has been facing, she supports the request for an additional officer.

“There is most definitely a need for additional officers on the department,” Malynowski said.

A review of Rindge’s calls for service and population done when the department requested a ninth officer last year showed a fully staffed department would be more in line with 12 or 13 full-time officers, Malynowski said. 

There is another article this year that addresses police needs, specifically the building that houses the force. In town-sponsored articles, there is a $5,000 request for a feasibility study for police facilities. Malynowski said she supports that article, as well. 

“The feasibility study would permit us to draft a blueprint, or even just a basic footprint, of a proposed building and take it to local contractors in order to learn whether the cost of the project and the nature of the request is even feasible for us,” Malynowski said. “At the very least, it will provide us with a fresh starting point to work from in looking towards the future of the department.”

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT. 


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