The Town’s elected officials appointed constables to keep the peace, with an influence from English common law. Each constable was paid $10.00 per year, excluding expenses.
The first part-time police chief, Thomas Largy, was appointed in 1924, and had two part-time officers sharing duties. The expenses for that year, were $294.35. Chief Largy was succeeded in 1939 by Chief John L. Putnam, who eventually served as the Town’s first full-time Police Chief. He was followed by Earl Dubois, who was promoted to Chief of Police in 1956. By 1958, Chief Dubois had two full-time men working for the Department, with an annual budget of $16,638.
In 1962, a Police/Fire building was constructed and included for the first time, a twenty-four hour dispatch center. This replaced calls going to the Chief’s home. In 1963, the Communications Center was recognized as being one of a few in the State of New Hampshire.
The Department also began a K-9 division, in 1962, giving Goffstown the reputation of being a progressive department. In 1965, Robert J. Wike became Chief and remained so until his retirement in 1984. His tenure included the philosophy of community based policing and education of officers. He has been credited with the inception of several programs.
Bob Wike started the first Law Enforcement Explorer Post in New Hampshire in 1970, which has since been in continuous operation. In 1973, he and Donald Lemire of the Boy Scouts of America, started the New Hampshire Police Cadet Training Academy for youths between the ages of 14 and 20. This week long Academy allows young men and women to experience first hand the rigors of physical and mental discipline and the academics of a law enforcement education. The Academy continues today serving approximately 135 youths annually. Many have gone on to lifelong careers as police officers. (For further information see the Goffstown Police Explorers page).
In the 1970s, Chief Wike successfully established the Hillsborough County Dispatch Center at the Police Department. Dispatchers handled up to fourteen communities in Hillsborough County; taking phone calls and dispatching officers. Though the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department currently handles most of the County now, Goffstown still provides dispatch service to the Towns of New Boston and Weare.
The Court system in the 1970s was under the jurisdiction of the Town of Goffstown. Chief Wike established an Office of Youth Services for the Court, which allowed for a very close relationship between the police, juveniles and their families. The Goffstown Police Department’s Investigative Division currently handles juvenile matters and continues to be very effective in dealing with the issues confronting young people. The Goffstown District Court is now under the jurisdiction of the State of New Hampshire.
Much of the growth and expansion of the Goffstown Police Department, during the 1970s, came from Law Enforcement Assistance Administration grants and the Governor’s Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The agency moved to the basement of the Town Hall in 1970. The annual budget in 1971 was $92,000.
During Chief Wike’s tenure, the Department increased to seventeen full-time officers, nine dispatchers, a records clerk and forty part-time officers, known as Specials. The Special Police Officers were organized into four teams, each team being assigned to a specific duty week. These officers were required to volunteer a minimum of four hours of work per week. These volunteers meant full-time officers would have a partner accompanying them on calls and that other Specials would conduct specific patrols for DWIs. The Specials purchased their own equipment, which in the 1970s and early 1980s, was hundreds of dollars.
In 1984, Stephen R. Monier, who authored most of the grants, became Goffstown’s fifth Police Chief. In 1987, the Police Department moved into a new facility, which included an operations center for Emergency Management. From a combination of private and Federal funds, the building was constructed at a minimal cost to taxpayers.
Michael T. French became the new Police Chief in February 1999, after Stephen Monier’s retirement. Chief French started in dispatch and quickly moved on to the Patrol Division. He was a K-9 handler, field training officer; was in charge of the juvenile division, where he was promoted to Sergeant and then promoted to Lieutenant in charge of the Investigations Division. In 1995, he was promoted to Captain.
The Goffstown Police Department has been dedicated to such community based programs as Officer Friendly, D.A.R.E., Police Explorers, Adopt-a-School, Ride-a-Long, Special Olympics Torch Run, and Bike Patrol. Throughout the year, officers teach law enforcement related curriculum in the Goffstown High School and at Saint Anselm College. The Department continuously provides seminars such as self-protection against sexual assaults and domestic violence.
During the summer of 1997, an addition to the police facility was constructed, which includes cruiser bays, storage areas for property and a Youth Attendant Room. This room was designed to attend to small children in a comfortable setting who are in need of care and guidance, such as those who may have been traumatized by an event. If needed, Volunteers of the Youth Attendant Program stay with children and youth, allowing officers to continue working on the investigation.
In 2000, the department acquired a Speed Monitoring Awareness Radar Trailer (SMART. It is set up along the roads to alert motorists of their speed and the posted speed. You may request a survey for your street by calling 497-4858.
The Department has now returned to its roots. Being the first police department in 1962 to have K-9’s north of Connecticut, the Town of Goffstown has two K-9’s, Officers Hull and K-9 Cyrus and Officers Babcock and K-9 Jax.
The Goffstown Police Department values its close relationship with the Community, and will continue to work on building that relationship in the future.