Sunday, October 27, 2013

Meet the New Boss...

(This is a whole hell of a lot of inglorious history to attempt to archive. If you find that a link of interest has gone missing, then copy the url, search for it here, and please do your humble chronicler a big favor and let him know what you find. TIA...)

So. What's been happening in Weare lately. Oh yeah...




Who could make this shit up? Or there's the Select Board's stumping efforts to regain control of the police chief selection process (since they'd been so good at it previously), and the subsequent conveniently rapid retirement of Begin so they could just get on with it. First order of business? Gunning a man down at a donut shop, a casualty of the rights- and resources-annihilating drug war. In August -- how's that investigation coming, anyway? And notably, there's the last election for chief, with the curious shenanigans involving opponents Massaro and Bolduc, which has completely disappeared down the memory hole -- but I have digital copies of some articles if'n yer interested. Titles like...
  • Controversial N.H. Chief Wins Re-Election (3/2011)
  • Weare Chief wins third term (3/2011)
(The short-ish version: Begin won only a plurality against a current and a retired state cop when, less than a week before the election, the current state cop informed the front-running retired state cop that he'd lose his pension if he accepted the gig. He dropped out, but the electorate couldn't be apprised in time to transfer sufficient of his support to the current state cop.)
I challenge another community to produce a list (nominally proportional to population, let's be fair) even remotely as relentlessly ignominious -- if you can do it, you have my utmost sympathy. All of which resulted (mercifully, eventually, [yet still somehow surprisingly] predictably) in...

2013 (continued)

"... Even the unit’s longtime motto, 'Maintaining Unity in the Community,' was overhauled. It now reads: 'Preserving the Peace.'
'That’s what our community wants us to do,' Velleca said. 'They want us to understand, "Look, it’s peaceful here. Try and keep it that way. Don’t disrupt it. We’ll call you when we need you, and when we need you, please be professional and intelligent and know your job. But until then, let us be."' ..."

Leaving us (ok, not so much as of only 10/2014 anymore, a mere year later) with John Velleca, late of the New Haven, CT, pd's drug war, introduced and taking the oath of office as the new police chief in Weare, NH, 10/26/2013...

It's been suggested that we really should give them -- the Select Board and their new enforcer -- yet another chance. When, exactly, do they run out of automatic 2nd chances? What does it take to finally suspend credulity, stop granting passes, and expect obliterated trust to be withheld until actively earned?

Put another way, Velleca is the board's excited choice. Why should we naturally presume that the individual the BoS hired to run their department will install any different priorities than those the board, itself, oversaw subsequent to (the elected, most recently by only a plurality, and under rather questionable political circumstances, to boot) Begin's convenient departure, and quickly resulting in the violent 'Keystone Kops' department sacrificing a man's life and crashing 2 cars to the profoundly immoral "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™ (and there's a rumor supplied by a credible source that the board may have already voted for the taxpayers to cover the criminal defense of the 2 cops involved, if and when necessary [and finally, here's the first, um, 'smoking gun' -- and it's all 5, not just 2]? For all his faults as a public servant and ostensible "peace officer," at least Begin's department hadn't gone that far. But the department the board now again oversees already has. And now they've installed a professional drug warrior. So yeah, I have my doubts.

And if Velleca (not to mention the board that's sat idly by while the above cataloged inglorious history and more has transpired unrestrained) doesn't fully expect (and understand that the situation richly deserves) a "difficult" reception, he's not much of an investigator.

I don't want enforcers. I want peace officers. If peace exists, leave it the hell alone. Don't 'destroy the peace in order to save it.' If it ain't broke, don't break it. No victim, no crime. Keep the peace, protect my rights. That's it. That's the priority. Otherwise, be invisible. And jbtw? "Touched the white line" isn't an example of a peace-breaching infraction -- yet that issue (among too many others) is demonstrably an unhealthy fixation of this department. Leave peaceful people alone. Find something productive and helpful to do. If you can't, then perhaps the taxpayers are being forced to fund too large a payroll -- to say nothing of reparations for its "indiscretions".

What does it take to impress this upon my employees? 'Andy Taylor' doesn't have to be dead if the employers, the taxpayers, relentlessly insist that he's not. That he will not be. Sadly, for quite some time, the greatest single threat to the public peace in Weare has been its own police department. Maybe it's just me, but I'm gonna need some actual convincing now, not just vague (and arguably still meaningless at best) platitudes and assurances. The department's liability insurers just may at this point, as well...

Next Chapter ('cuz it's gotta go somewhere, so...)




"... In 2014, the town of Weare, New Hampshire, paid $57,500 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by a woman who said police were wrong to charge her for videotaping a traffic stop. ..."
And $35,000,and $6,000, let's not forget. And as with this new case, those settlements were all paid by the taxpayers, too. You can be forgiven for thinking that, following 'Glik', too, the abomination of "qualified immunity" -- on at least this issue, anyway -- was well and truly dead. Evidently government and its 'enforcer class' and its pet courts prefer not to see it that way, so piss off, citizen. And pay up. What will the next excuse be? "Look what he was wearing...!"?

What will it take before the cops, rather than the taxpayers,  are held responsible for the cost -- which, apparently, is doing nothing but going up -- of their lawlessness? What do the taxpayers need to do? Well, I guess "care" would be an important first step...





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