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There are tons of services that police provide: Elderly check-ins, noise complaints, damaged property, stolen purses, runaway children, etc. They all cost money, and for the most part, communities are happy to pay. Justice is something most people want, and so we pay a group of people to provide it.
But what happens when the cost is astronomical? Like, crazy. Like, incalculably high? So high, no one even knows the number? Is there anyone putting downward pressure on costs when it comes to service from the police, or do they have a blank check on the community bank account?
I ask because a woman in my town today called the police to remove her adult son, age 45, from her home. Criminal trespass. Totally legitimate complaint. I am happy to pay for that. If someone were trespassing on my property, and I was an old lady, hell, I would want some help from a group of young, well-trained guys, too.
The response from police was: 30 police officers, 2 SWAT teams, firefighters, blocking off the street — to kick a loafer from his mom’s home? You can’t put a price on officer safety, but even so, this was excessive.
I posted on Facebook about my concern about the cost, and a townsperson responded that in situations where a hiker gets lost and incurs a cost to local rescue, they get a bill. He proposed the same thing for cases like this. Not a bad idea.
What do you think? Should people be personally responsible for their expensive specialty police calls? How can a you ensure you are not on the hook for some wildly excessive service your neighbor requests? Should we all share the costs equally? How can we best ensure community safety while also staying within reasonable budgetary limits? Your thoughts welcome!
You won’t believe this. Even I can’t believe it. I had to stop investigating this story because the rabbit hole of corruption was so deep that I lost sight of where it began. So let’s start at the end and work backwards…
Chris Brackett, the head of the jail in Dover, New Hampshire decided to impose a policy of obstructing all inmate mail. No more letters from the outside world. An article published by the Portsmouth Herald cites recent inmate overdoses as the potential justification for this excessively restrictive action.
There are two problems with that theory. First, the jail doesn’t allow packages of any sort, including birthday cards or anything other than ink and paper (at least, until last week’s new policy took effect). Second, it is policy for jail employees to physically open and check the contents of all inmate mail for any contraband and remove it before it reaches the inside. There is no way inmates were receiving heroin through ink and paper letters, and preventing their delivery will have no effect on inmate overdoses.
How are the overdoses happening? To find that answer, we need look no further than an article by the Portsmouth Herald from May in which one of the jail guards was caught bringing heroin into the housing unit of the jail. Case closed. It’s not the mail. It’s your employees.
Who’s in charge of hiring these top-notch individuals working at the Dover jail? Well, none other than Bruce Pelkie, the Superintendent of Strafford County Jails, who was himself arrested earlier this year on felony charges of impersonating an officer. Apparently while enjoying more than a year on paid vacation on taxpayer’s dime, Bruce thought it would be great fun to get his personal vehicle outfitted with red and blue police lights and pull people over. Is he a cop? No. Does he have the authority to pull anyone over? No. Then surely the local police would notice this happening and stop him? Nope. A State Trooper was finally the one to catch the Superintendent of the jails pulling people over in his personal car. And all while he is out on “administrative leave” for what he claims are medical reasons. Surely this means he loses his job, his pay, and the taxpayer-funded medical insurance he’s been collecting? Also no. The superintendent of the jails continues to receive paychecks for not doing his job, and committing crimes on the side.
There are countless more crimes and stories of corruption emanating from this public embarrassment of a facility — too many to list in this one article. I had no idea what a can of worms I’d be opening when I dug into the first story about jail guards obstructing inmate mail. Is this even legal? Should groups like the ACLU and prisoner’s rights groups file a lawsuit against Chris Brackett and the people who are obstructing mail delivery to inmates? Please share this article and video with your friends and family and ask them what they think. Building a free society depends on people like you to think, speak, and act — especially when it is easier to do nothing.
On May 24 2017 I attended, “Exposing the Free State Project,” 90 minutes of slander and lies by Zandra Rice Hawkins. Hawkins is a propagandist with Granite State Progress, a political arm of the New Hampshire Democrats. She apparently missed her calling as a preacher of the fire and brimstone variety, given the fear, mistrust, and terror she attempted to sow throughout the crowd. In the end, attendees seemed rightfully doubtful of Hawkins’ spurious claims that Free Staters are wolves in sheep’s clothing, secretly plotting to dismantle every beloved societal institution they can. Instead, Free Staters were seen as open, willing to engage others on the issues that matter most to them, and find common ground where possible to make a better life for everyone.
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