Fines & Incarceration in N.H.

Sep 28, 2015
Peter Stinson / Flickr/CC

A new New Hampshire ACLU report says that too many Granite Staters go to jail because they can't afford to pay court fines. We're looking at how this system works and whether it needs to change.


SoxFanInSD via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/pWJZT7

We think of Coca-Cola as the quintessential American soda – so why then are so many people embracing a foreign variation on the brand? We explore the myth of a healthier, more authentic brand of coke. Plus, a Millennial author comes up with a counter-intuitive theory about why 20-somethings are so obsessed with taking pictures of their food. And, a report on how and why local law enforcement agencies from Ferguson, Missouri to Keene, New Hampshire have stocked up on armored vehicles and other military gear.  

A number of New Hampshire cities and towns are taking part in this year’s National Night Out on Tuesday evening.

The annual events are aimed at building stronger relationships between law enforcement and the community.

Captain Mike Schwartz with the Portsmouth Police Department says that’s particularly important this year, as the state deals with the growth in heroin and opioid abuse.


Town selectmen in New Hampshire have voted to fire a long-standing police chief.

WMUR-TV reports the New Durham selectmen voted 2 to 1 Thursday morning to terminate Police Chief Shawn Bernier during a closed meeting at the Town Hall.

Selectman David Bickford says the board had a right to terminate without cause, according to the chief's contract.

Bickford says that Bernier wanted to retire and this decision will give him severance pay.

But Bernier says he only wanted to go part-time and that the town had no right to fire him under state law.

Rene Jakobson via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/4UoQ63

Just a few years ago, marriage equality seemed dead in the water. Now the players are running a victory lap. Today, we learn how gun control activists are now recruiting ideas and people from the gay marriage movement. Then, one of the most isolated communities in the world is about to become a lot more social when their first airport opens next year, but the change may not be welcome. And, summer vacation season is in full swing with tourists jet setting all over the world. But what happens when the place you’re visiting is in the midst of a global financial crisis? We’ll speak to a man traveling to Greece this week to find out how he’s planning to pack.


New Hampshire’s largest police department has changed its policy prohibiting visible tattoos.

The move was prompted by an op-ed published by the wife of a Manchester veteran who questioned the policy, saying her husband couldn’t apply because of an army-related tattoo on his forearm.

Nick Douglas via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/eiCit

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office is releasing the names of dozens of police officers who were mistakenly told they had passed an assessment to administer a device that tests a person's blood-alcohol content.

The state Attorney General's office released 64 police officer names, their respective departments and dates of their false positive test scores.

Deputy Attorney General Ann Rice says the erroneous test results means any drunk-driving cases handled by these officers will be scrutinized.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

The weekday morning rush is in full effect at the McDonald’s in Concord’s South End. Customers are ordering Egg McMuffins at the counter; commuters are lined up in the drive-thru lane.

Oh, and nine members of the Concord Police Department are here, including Lieutenant John Thomas.

Courtesy The University Of New Hampshire

 Officials at the University of New Hampshire and the Durham Police Department say they’re ready if any end-of-semester parties get out of hand this week.

Tuesday is the reading day, a campus-wide study day ahead of the start of final exams Wednesday. It’s also Cinco de Mayo, and there’s warm weather in the forecast. Those factors have all served as catalysts in years past for heavy drinking parties that have brought riot police to downtown Durham.

Photo: West Midlands Police/cc/flickr


Selectmen in the town of Bethlehem have approved body cameras for police officers.

The cameras will be chest-worn devices that can record for five or six hours. Plans are for police to start using them in August.

The Caledonian Record reports that each of Bethlehem's seven police officers will have one for motor vehicle stops and dispatched calls. Individuals pulled over or stopped must be notified the camera is on.

Police in other towns have been using body cameras, such as Haverhill and Weare.

New Hampshire Debates Body Cameras For Police

Feb 18, 2015
West Midlands Police / Flickr/CC

The national conversation over police use of force sparked by the deaths of unarmed suspects in Ferguson and New York City has been marked by unrest and divisive politics. But in the midst of this polarized debate, there is one change that nearly everyone agrees on: the need for more body cameras worn by police officers. Before the new technology is widely adopted though, questions of privacy, effectiveness, and cost will have to be addressed.


NHPR / Ryan Lessard

Manchester is the state’s largest city, and it’s also the most racially diverse.

In the wake of tensions between police and citizens in several large cities, the Manchester Police Department recently held a public forum to talk about policing in a diverse community.

David Mara is chief of the Manchester Police Department.

He joins Morning Edition to talk about the issue.

When you first talked about the idea behind the forum, you said you didn’t want to have a Ferguson in 10 years. What did you mean by that?

File photo/NHPR

Attorney General Joseph Foster says police were responding to a call from a woman just after 8 a.m. who said her husband had just left their home distraught, suicidal and armed with a shotgun. 

Police located his truck at a nearby intersection and the officer approached. 

The officer returned fire and the man suffered a single, fatal gunshot wound to the head. 

Authorities are withholding the names of those involved at this time. They say the officer involved did not sustain any serious injuries. 

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Around the country, protestors have been gathering to voice their concern over violence against black Americans by police officers. Last night, one of those protests was held in Hanover. (You can see photos of the protest here.)

Matt M. / flickr, creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/41348459@N00/3457301638

  This week the Portsmouth police department launches a new program called “Cops on Corners,” in an effort to make department operations more transparent.

Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald says the community events are a response both to local tensions and a national conversation arising out of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He says “the goal here is to get out in front of the public, go neighborhood by neighborhood --because different neighborhoods have different issues -- and just meet with people.”

Ferguson Decision: N.H. Reacts

Nov 25, 2014
Peter Snarr / Flickr/CC

We’re talking about the fallout in Ferguson. Protests broke out again last night after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown this summer.  We’re talking about the reaction in Ferguson and what this means for civil rights, police force, and race relations across the country and in the Granite State.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  With robberies in Manchester on the rise in recent years, police are now training convenience store workers on how to prevent robberies and what to do when one occurs.

Crime Prevention Officer Paul Rondeau told store clerks today that real life robberies are nothing like the movies. Hey says they’re typically brief and those robbing the stores are often desperate addicts.

West Midlands Police via flickr Creative Commons

Police officials in Keene have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to track down the major players in last weekend’s riots, and want the public to help them track down additional perpetrators. On today’s show: how police departments across the nation are using social media to fight crime and bolster their image. 

Plus: the 1922 version of Nosferatu still tops lists as one of the greatest horror films of all time. We’ll find out what goes into scoring this silent classic for a live audience.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Manchester Police Department

The state Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a man convicted of attempting to murder a Manchester police officer in 2012.

In an appeal to the state’s highest court, attorneys for 25-year-old Myles Webster argued eyewitness identifications were tainted when police released his booking photo five hours before he was arraigned.

Webster was found guilty of attempting to kill Manchester Police Officer Dan Doherty, after shooting him seven times at point-blank range.

Webster was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

A 21-year-old New Hampshire man charged in connection with a lockdown at his former high school in Manchester is heading to court.

Damian Johnson of Manchester will be arraigned Friday on a felony count of falsifying physical evidence and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass, violation of probation and disrupting school in session.

Police say Manchester High School West was on lockdown for 90 minutes Thursday, after a student reported seeing Johnson with a gun tucked into his waistband. He was found in a small, occupied classroom and was arrested without incident.

Over the past five years, law enforcement agencies in Vermont have invested more than $1 million in technology that gathers millions of data points every year about the whereabouts of vehicles across the state.

The Automated Plate Recognition Systems, or ALPRs, use high-speed cameras mounted on police cruisers that take photos of passing cars and relay them to an in-car computer for analysis. The technology keeps track of every license plate the cruiser passes and checks each against a “hot list” of vehicles, all in real time.

The 7-year-old police dog partner of a Manchester, New Hampshire, police officer is retiring after a successful career.

"Lou" and Officer Scott Ardita passed certification for five years while winning numerous awards in the process. The certification trial measures the success of a dog and his handler, but most importantly, it certifies the dog as a bona fide K-9 capable of working as a police dog.

The Manchester Police Department currently has eight working K-9 teams. Lou will continue living with Ardita and his family as he starts his retirement.

Two Seabrook Police Officers were fired Wednesday in connection with the November 2009 assault of a man who had been taken into custody.

The incident took place four and a half years ago, but didn’t become public until earlier this year, when the assault victim, now 24 year old Mike Bergeron, posted a video of the incident on YouTube.

In the video, Officers Mark Richardson and Adam Laurent are seen shoving Bergeron, then 19, headfirst into a concrete wall.

Seabrook Town Manager William Manzi says the investigation was independent and fair.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Manchester police say that while efforts to reduce property crimes in Manchester have shown some success, the total number of crimes since January is virtually identical to last year. The information was presented during a downtown community meeting hosted by the Manchester police department Tuesday night.

Officer Matt Barter, the department’s crime analyst, says some of the numbers between January and June are looking good. 

examiner.com via Flickr Creative Commons

Manchester Police Chief David Mara is one of four finalists to head up the police department in Somerville, Mass.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Nearly 2,000 police officers from around the state and their region paid their respects to fallen Brentwood Officer Steve Arkell and his family Tuesday night.

Sean Hurley

Although Police Commissioner Robert Copeland submitted a letter of resignation earlier today, the people of Wolfeboro worry about the possible long-term impact the racial controversy could have on their town. NHPR's Sean Hurley spoke with residents over the weekend, before Copeland’s resignation and looks more closely at what led to today’s events.

On Sunday Joanne Parise sat on the shore of Wolfeboro Bay.  On nearby Main Street, families lined up for ice cream, gazed in shop windows, and consulted maps and guidebooks.  The summer tourist season has already begun. 

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Members of law enforcement from across the state gathered in Concord Monday to observe the New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Ceremony. The name of Officer Steve Arkell, who was killed a week ago, was on everyone’s minds, but he will be formally added to the memorial next year. 

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

During a vigil for fallen Brentwood police Officer Steve Arkell was held Tuesday night, hundreds of Brentwood residents and members of surrounding towns gathered, candles in hand, to mourn and celebrate the life of a man who served the community he grew up in.

A report by the New Hampshire attorney general says a tired police officer, poor planning and a series of bad decisions converged eight months ago to turn an attempted drug bust in Weare into a chaotic fatal shooting. Attorney General Joseph Foster ultimately opted not to prosecute Weare police officer Nicholas Nadeau for the death of Alex Cora DeJesus. The decision was made against a backdrop of laws and precedents that are weighted heavily in favor of a police officer's split-second judgment.