Hampstead Police Chief Proposes Full-Time Position Warrant Article

By Alex Malm

A proposed warrant article, which would ask voters if they support going from a part-time elected police chief, to a full-time appointed police chief was one of the items of discussion during the Dec. 12 Hampstead Board of Selectmen meeting.
It was explained by Hampstead Police Chief, Joseph Beaudoin, that the idea was his.
“The warrant article to do away with a part time elected police chief was my idea presented to the Board of Selectmen,” said Beaudoin.
Beaudoin said he has been a police officer in the department for over 50 years saying he has seen major changes since he began where he would answer the phone at his house.
“We ended up in a 10 by 10 room here, we ended up in a 1,200 foot old fire station and now we’re in a 7,000 foot police station,” said Beaudoin.
When there was a three member Board of Selectmen, it was more of a battle over personalities, but with a five member Board of Selectmen, it makes sense they appoint a police chief, saying he thinks they would hire someone who cares about the town.
“I think they will do good for the residents,” said Beaudoin.
Beaudoin said he has been police chief in Hampstead for 23 years.
“I think I know what the town needs and it has to move forward,” said Beaudoin.
If the warrant article is moved to the ballot and is then approved, Beaudoin said he would no longer be police chief or police officer at the end of his current term.
He emphasized it was his decision to bring the proposed warrant article forward.
“It’s just time that we move forward,” said Beaudoin.
Also during the meeting, the Selectmen once again discussed possible changes to their cell phone reimbursement policy for town employees.
Administrative Assistant, Sally Theriault, said she spoke at the last department head meeting.
“The only sense that I got from them is that a flat fee or a flat reimbursement would be better than these adjusted reimbursements we have right now,” said Theriault.
The main point of discussion that still needs to be sorted out are what they should make the reimbursement rate for employees.
Selectmen, Laurie Warnock, said that generally the average rate to cover data and cell service is around $35 to $40 per line.
It was ultimately decided to have the full numbers for how much it would cost per year if they moved to a $35 reimbursement or if they moved to $40 reimbursement per employee. Currently, employees are paid a number of different rates based on what position they are working in.
The next Hampstead Board of Selectmen meeting is slated to take place on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m.