Exeter NH speeding ticket from the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Department.
EXETER – Residents recently took to social media to express their confusion over the intensification of city traffic law enforcement led by members of the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Major Chris Bashaw, the Sheriff’s Office has issued 70 citations to the drivers of the approximately 200 vehicles stopped in Exeter since the start of 2021. Bashaw said the citations issued go to the State Department of Security, like any other. motor vehicle. citation, and flows into the general state fund.
“There is no additional incentive for us to write quotes,” Bashaw said. “It just has to be effective; how egregious was the violation, did the driver receive multiple warnings, how recent were these warnings?
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Exeter Police Chief: We were not informed
The Sheriff’s Office supplemental law enforcement also caught the Exeter Police Department by surprise. Police chief Stephan Poulin said he had not been informed by the sheriff’s office of the increase in the application. He said Exeter was not the only department to have seen enforcement stepped up from deputies to the sheriff.
“This enforcement effort led by the Sheriff’s Department has raised concerns among members of the Exeter community,” Poulin said. “Communication is always a good thing and it is welcome. The Sheriff’s Department has jurisdiction throughout the state of New Hampshire and we have a good relationship with them.
The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction over national highways throughout the county, as well as over the state.
Some residents, however, were still surprised to see them in town, especially as Poulin says Exeter police are “in sufficient numbers and fully capable of resolving issues, such as these traffic problems.”
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Where do MPs patrol in Exeter?
The sheriff’s office posted on its Facebook page on May 12 to alert county residents that deputies are being dispatched to provide traffic control. He said patrols were limited to national roads, which in Exeter’s case included national roads 27, 101, 108 and 111.
Bashaw said the sheriff’s office was required to conduct as many hours of traffic control in Windham and Exeter to meet the new terms of a grant issued by the State Department of Road Safety. He said DOS had specifically identified Exeter and Windham as areas of very high concern “based on crash data.”
“In the past, when we got grants, we were given the autonomy to go anywhere in the county on the New Hampshire freeways,” Bashaw said. “This was the first year that there were certain areas where we had to lead enforcement efforts at certain times in specific communities.”
An increase in driving accidents among adolescents
Poulin said that between 2017 and 2019, crashes causing “serious” bodily injury declined. However, he said “teenage driving” accidents were on the rise.
“There has been… a significant increase in teenage driving accidents,” Poulin said. “We are taking the appropriate steps to address this issue, particularly in relation to the supervision and patrols of Exeter High School which begin and close student driver travel periods.”
Where does the funding come from?
Paul Raymond, head of public information at the Department of Security, said the grant is paid using federal funds and has been offered to all municipalities in Rockingham County. He said that Exeter and Windham initially chose not to accept the grants, so $ 12,341 was offered to the sheriff’s department. He said Exeter subsequently accepted a limited amount of grants.
“The grants were initially allocated to all municipalities, Exeter and Windham refused the funds,” Raymond said. “So the money ended up going to the sheriff’s office with the specific intention of carrying out the execution in those two communities.”
Poulin said Exeter Police did not apply for the Highway Safety Department grant because it requires matching municipal funds that were wiped out in last year’s budget cuts due to the pandemic of COVID-19. He said Exeter Police have again applied for the grant for fiscal year 2022.
“We were financially responsible for the issue of matching funding and reducing our budget during the pandemic, as well as security concerns related to increased contact between officers and citizens,” Poulin said.