The Rochester Board of Selectmen turned its attention to the Rochester Police Department on October 30 and took two police votes – one to hire a new full-time officer and the other to get the ball rolling towards hiring a new police chief.
The board approved the Police Department’s recommendation to appoint Brendan Emberg as Rochester’s newest full-time police officer. Sergeant Robert Small introduced Emberg as having an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire, and he has been a part-time officer on the force since July 2015. “He’s done an excellent job,” said Small. “He stated all along that it was his intention to work his way up to a full-time position.”
The selectmen also gave the nod to Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar to begin the hiring process of replacing Chief Paul Magee when he retires in September 2018.
Szyndlar expects a lengthy hiring process, and she recommended the Town begin by drafting an updated job description for chief of police.
“It’s a long process,” said Szyndlar, saying the first step is to work closely with the police chief and town counsel to put a job description together in anticipation of advertising for the position. When asked, Szyndlar said she would be able to assemble a rough timeline of the events to come as the Town searches for the next police chief.
In other matters, the board approved the request for several stop signs and two yield signs at intersections on High Street identified as in need of safety upgrades. The selectmen had delayed a vote until Chief Magee would sign off a second time on approving yield signs – as opposed to stop signs – at the intersections of Walnut Plain Road at High Street and County Road at High Street.
Szyndlar said Magee did some research and found that no accidents had been recorded between 2013 and 2017 at the intersections, with Magee commenting that he saw no need for stop signs; yield signs would suffice.
The safety upgrades are being paid for by a state grant awarded to the town after the state identified High Street as a roadway with a higher-than-average rate of vehicular accidents.
Szyndlar also reported to the board that the Town’s updated website would be fully implemented by November 20, as anticipated.
The next meeting of the Rochester Board of Selectmen is scheduled for November 13 at 6:30 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.
Rochester Board of Selectmen
By Jean Perry