Police Committee Meeting Minutes – 2/16/22

Minutes from another new committee in town – Lil

Walpole Police Committee

February 16, 2022

Minutes

Mr. Bourchard called the meeting to order at approximately 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 20022. The meeting was a hybrid Zoom meeting with Cheri Watson and Dave Adams present by Zoom and Mr. Bouchard, Chair, Steve Dalessio, Annette Grenier, Andrew Dey, Chief Justin Sanctuary and Peggy Pschirrer present in the Selectboard Office at Walpole Town Hall.

Andrew Dey was introduced as a new member of the Committee. Mr. Dey has a background and expertise in construction, engineering, and marketing. He is the Senior Manager at Unity Homes, a division of Bensonwood. Mr. Dey first joined Bensonwood in 1993, left in 2007 and returned with Unity Homes. Mr. Dey expressed some concern about how much time he must commit.

Site visits are to be scheduled for Charlestown Police Department, Brattleboro Police Department and sometime in the future the Department of Corrections in Keene. Mr. Bourchard has spoken to the Chiefs of Police in both Charlestown and Brattleboro. He has also talked with Sheriff Rivera of Cheshire County about training possibilities in a new police department.

Todd Faulkner is about to retire so he may be available to speak to the committee on how to build a good police department. We do not want to re-invent the wheel.

March 5 was suggested as a possible date to visit Brattleboro: Mr. Adams, Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Pschirrer are all available to participate that day.

A visit will be schedule with the Department of Corrections when Covid subsides. The purpose in visiting the new jail is to observe security, inspect modular cells an advanced HVAC system and how visitors are managed.

Other towns suggested were New London, Rockingham State Police Barracks and Chesterfield.

Perhaps the group could visit Chesterfield after a visit to Brattleboro.

Chief Sanctuary stated what is necessary in a new building, what the PD needs to operate. The Department needs three holding cells adjacent to bathrooms. We need to look closely at floor plans when we visit Brattleboro. Keene Police Department has a separate public entrance for meeting space.

Walpole would like a public meeting room as part of the new Police Department. It would be used by the community but also by the PD for training. It would need a kitchen, good soundproofing, be AD compliant and possibly meet RED Cross standards for shelter in an emergency.

Ms. Watson asked if there are rules for temporary, short-term shelters?

The group talked about location and most agreed the new station should be easily accessible, probably on Route 12. We are aware of a lot of about 9 acres of land on Route 12 which could be divided into smaller lots with approximately 4 acres left for the new station.

We need to look at the Town’s tax maps to learn where there are empty lots and who owns those lots. Ms. Pschirrer will provide those maps for the next meeting.

Chief Sanctuary reported they receive anywhere from 300 – 400 calls per month. They may be at the station or on the road when calls come in. The need for a flashing light which could signal cars leaving the station for an emergency may be needed. The question was asked if the local fire station had such an emergency light?

The answer is yes but it has been disconnected.

There is a data base for where calls go.

Ms. Watson was asked to research some grant availability for new police stations.

Ms. Grenier was asked to explore architects who specialize in building police stations.

We need to consider size of the building the configuration, what we would like to have, and we must have in the building.

The committee will meet again on March 16, 2022, in Town Hall.

We need to look at the Town’s tax maps to learn where there are empty lots and who owns those lots. Ms.

Pschirrer will provide those maps for the next meeting.

Chief Sanctuary reported they receive anywhere from 300 – 400 calls per month. They may be at the station

or on the road when calls come in. The need for a flashing light which could signal cars leaving the station for

an emergency my be needed. The question was asked if the local fire station had such an emergency light?

The answer is yes but it has been disconnected.

There is a data base for where calls go.

Ms. Watson was asked to research some grant availability for new police stations.

Ms. Grenier was asked to explore architects who specialize in building police stations.

We need to consider size of the building the configuration, what we would like to have, and we must have in

the building.

The committee will meet again on March 16, 2022, in Town Hall.

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