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Weare's interim chief says transition is smooth

Union Leader Correspondent

February 08. 2015 11:38PM

Interim Weare Police Chief Sean Kelly is leading the department while the selectmen consider their options for a permanent chief. (FILE PHOTO)

WEARE — The Weare Police Department is moving forward with interim Chief Sean Kelly at the helm and he says things are going smoothly.

The town is still in the process of determining a permanent chief of police.

Officers have been using body cameras in the field since September.

“It’s working extraordinarily well,” said Kelly.

“Prior to body cameras being put in the field we saw a number of citizen complaints almost daily here and since body cameras have been out in the fields and officers are using them as a matter of ordinary use of conduct, the number of people I’ve seen since the beginning September has fallen to one, and that was not about a police officer,” said Kelly.

“The value to community is immeasurable. It gives them peace of mind,” added Kelly.

In late January, Northern New England Police Accreditation Coalition (NNEPAC) conducted an on-site assessment as part of the department’s goals to become an accredited police department.

“The mock assessment went as exactly as we hoped it would go. NNEPAC was very pleasantly surprise with all the changes made at the Weare Police Department and how we moved forward since last fall. They came here expecting one thing and found something so much better,” said Kelly.

“That is not to say for one second we don’t have a lot of work to do. We are happy to do it. The men and women here at Weare PD are so committed to making sure it is done correctly now. It’s very gratifying,” added Kelly.

The next on-site assessment is April 6-8, with a public hearing slated for April 6, at 7 p.m. at the public safety complex. Residents are encouraged to attend.

The department will seek one full-time officer to fill a vacancy and a few reserves.

“We have been short-staffed and it’s exhausting but these officers have stepped up to the plate and perform magnificently,” said Kelly.

According to Kelly, the selectmen could take five to eight months in their selection process for a permanent chief.

“I feel fortunate for myself and the community to serve the public,” Kelly said.

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