Croydon NH – Croydon voters chose to contract services from the Newport Police Department over their own Police Chief at their town meeting on Saturday. The vote would in effect terminate long time Police Chief Richard Lee’s employment with the town after 19 years of service. The vote confused some voters since this option was not on a warrant article. Croydon Select Board Chair Carol Marsh presented the option under Warrant Article Two in the police budget. A proposal of what Newport could offer vs. Croydon was displayed at the Coniston Store, as well as posted on the Croydon Community Facebook on March 14th , but no posting at the Town Hall. Copies were handed out at Saturday’s meeting, but few people had the proposal prior to Saturday’s meeting. In a paper vote, residents voted 48 – 36 to contract with Newport.
The proposal is not a done deal since it will need to go before the Newport voters for their approval. If Newport voters veto the proposal, there is no Plan B at this time. If passed the target date will be July 1, 2019 for the change to go into place.
Police Chief Richard Lee said he feels the voters did not have enough time to get all the information, citing public hearings on ATV use in Croydon that went on for two years. That was verified by several town’s people on the Croydon Community Page who said they were uncertain of the vote. Lee said if the majority of people preferred utilizing Newport’s services over those of the Croydon Police Chief, it was acceptable, but he wants them to be informed and feels the town people need more time and information.
Newport Fire-EMS as well as Newport Dispatch will also be providing services to Croydon who currently uses New London Ambulance and New London Dispatch.