Hampton, New Hampshire, Police Host Community Meetings
Hampton Police will host the first of several planned neighborhood public information nights Tuesday, with North Shore area residents up first.
The meeting in the department's training room at 5 p.m. will give residents a chance to bring up issues of concern that the department may not be aware of in their own neighborhood, and ask questions of new police chief Alex Reno.
"I just want to create a forum for residents in the community to be able to come forward and talk about any concerns they may have, update them on anything that might be relevant, that we're doing in their neighborhood," Reno told Seacoast Current. "It's just an opportunity to communicate back and forth between the residents in the police department in the forum that set to their specific neighborhood areas."
Reno says the North Shore area north of Church Street and the side streets along Ocean Boulevard to the North Hampton border will be the focus of the first meeting.
Concerns and Expectations
Reno said with the summer season around the corner, he expects to hear concerns during every meeting about speeders, loud noise, loud radios, revving engines, and crosswalks. By meeting with residents of a particular area, he can show data about their specific concerns.
"I can show data that we might have that kind of gives some insight as to what we have seen might be problematic or what our enforcement actions may have been in the past, maybe some things that we're going to be looking to do a little differently enforcement wise in their area," Reno said. "Or, just listen to what their concerns are. We have some new tools that will assist us with some of those traffic safety issues."
The meetings will also be chance for Reno to address the expectations of residents and the realities of how the department serves the town given the department's current staffing.
"Our patrol areas are relatively expansive, there's other calls for service that come in. So, for us, it's just be patient with what services we're providing, that we're doing the very best that we can with the people that we have, with the financial resources that we have," Reno said.
The chief, who served as Deputy Chief until the retirement of David Hobbs in December, said he welcomes being in the hot seat taking questions directly from residents.
"If you've got a problem, I want to know about it so we can work to address it. If you have some misconception, I want to be able to correct that misconception or confirm it and say 'no, that isn't why this is and this is why we do it that way' and ensure that we're also open to input and kind of changing things up, if it makes sense. It's just a transparent way to communicate," Reno said.
Reno said the next meeting will be in May with beach area residents, followed by another meeting for in-town residents. Exact dates have not yet been announced.