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Use of off duty sheriff deputies at Meadowbrook raises questions

To The Daily Sun,

In New Hampshire, police departments seek emergency assistance of another police department having memorandum of understanding/reciprocity agreements (MOU), including sheriff departments. The Legislature has provided legislation to address reimbursement for on-duty out-of-pocket expenses, salaries and loss or damaged equipment.

However, an anticipated, taxpayer-funded, appropriation necessary to cover cost of law enforcement personnel working on other than official business also requires a line item appropriation. Most, if not all, New Hampshire municipalities have such off-duty private pay line item appropriations. Accordingly, a comparable off-setting revenue line item for reimbursement is necessary to maintain a balanced budget.

In the FY2016, Belknap County Convention Annual Budget, the Sheriff Department budget includes a $55,000 line item for outside detail expenses incurred to finance request by local police departments for non-emergency request, to wit, the requesting municipality will reimburse the county for hours worked at the loaded cost of employment of the average deputy sheriff's rate.

What is problematic is that private pay off-duty is not an emergency and the county budget does not have such a line item.

It is unknown how the Gilford Police Department is reimbursed for work at the Bank NH Pavilion. At some point, in the past, the off-duty was a "private pay" and those Gilford employees were paid by tax dollars and it took years before the town was reimbursed.
Believing that work at the Bank NH Pavilion is private pay, exactly what portion of the $55,000 of county tax dollars were encumbered for emergency, non-emergency or for private work on or off-duty from Jan. 1 to July 31?

The $10,000 request to transfer clearly is admittedly off-duty private pay for police coverage at Gilford's Bank NH Pavilion. What is the line item in the Sheriff's Department budget for off-duty private pay work?

Is private pay being circumvented? Has, Gilford Police Department made a non-emergency request for on-duty and off-duty deputy sheriffs (union employees) to supplement the off-duty Gilford police officer who provide police coverage at Gilford's Bank NH Pavilion. The private business at some point will reimburse the Gilford taxpayers for the use of its tax dollars (a 7-day or 30-day billing). Accordingly, Gilford will reimburse the county taxpayers for the use of county taxpayer dollars. Is the loaded cost of employment $40 an hour? Is the $40 based on a union hourly rate? At $55 how much will the profit be. Why should taxpayer finance private pay off-duty employment, hoping the reimbursement will be timely deposited?

Thomas A. Tardif

Laconia

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Warren & Wentworth so fortunate to have highly-trained EMTs

To The Daily Sun,

When John retired in June 2015 many people asked us when we were moving to Florida or elsewhere. That thought has never occurred to us. First, I am a New Hampshire native and John and I just consider this region our home. And now after a near-fatal accident our feelings are even further confirmed.

Last Wednesday, John sustained a concussion while riding his bicycle on Route 25 in Wentworth, approaching Shawnee's store. Perhaps we'll never know how it happened, but he fell from his bicycle into Route 25 and was unconscious. Though we are still not clear on all details or people, our very grateful thanks goes to several good Samaritans, including Joanie B. from Wentworth who saw a "lump" in the road, followed soon thereafter by three women, including a nurse (whom we do not know), summoned help from the nearby Wentworth Fire Department which directed traffic around John as he laid in the road, to the Warren-Wentworth EMT squad making the perfect decision to have him air-lifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Though I am a retired nurse and John is a retired ophthalmologist, a reaction of shock and disbelief and fear takes over in these unexpected events. He was in the right place at the right time with the good training from the Warren and Wentworth emergency squads. We are so terribly grateful for their quick and effective assessment of John's condition. Your towns are so fortunate to have these well trained emergency personnel.

These services cost our taxpayers. but every cent is worth it when you can see a successful rescue. Our small towns may not have big-city amenities but they surely have heart, grit, and good sense as well as a deeply caring attitude when someone is in need.

No, we are not moving, but this makes us feel even closer to this region with the outpouring of care and concern that has been shown to John. By the way, he has come home and aside from some soreness is doing so well! Our deepest thank you and gratitude goes out to so many who helped him.

Martha & John Richards
Holderness

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