BF gets raw deal in letting its police chief serve Rockingham for free

BELLOWS FALLS — An open letter to the Bellows Falls Village Trustees and the Rockingham Selectboard:

Bellows Falls Trustees, you have agreed to just hand over the salaried (at $57,500) chief of the Bellows Falls Police Department, as constable to the Rockingham Selectboard, free of charge, to perform those duties in his free time?

And Rockingham Selectboard, you have agreed to accept this constable from the village at zero return to the village?

Nice deal, if you can get it, but of what benefit is this to the taxpayers of Bellows Falls, who also pay town taxes?

Zero actual dollars. A promise of possible revenues for any tickets issued, possibly paid, possibly challenged, no definite benefit.

By the chief's own accounting last fiscal year, only one ticket was issued on Route 121, and that ticket was entered into the state lottery to access the available community pool of monies. Shall we gamble now for the chance to lose his service to the village and availability for the “x” factor of dollars?

In addition to this is the misappropriation of services of a salaried employee dedicated to the village. My understanding of a salaried position is to ensure the availability of the employee beyond the typical 40-hour work week; as a manager of his own workforce, even more hours are typically required.

Where are the spare hours to come from to service all of Rockingham? Which will he choose when an emergency occurs in the village?

The flashpoint here: will another Bellows Falls police officer at some soon-to-be-announced meeting be drafted into service as a second constable for the town of Rockingham for the ever-elusive nothing in revenues?

What are we doing here? What is wrong with this picture? Why are the village trustees knuckling under to the Selectboard?

If the town wants a police force, let them pay for it! You are giving away the hard-earned tax dollars of the citizens of the Village of Bellows Falls!

Draw the line and put your fiscal responsibility and our $1.1 million police force behind it!

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