Chief's Welcome Message
Welcome to the Londonderry Police Department’s webpage. My name is Bill Hart; I am the police chief here in Londonderry. I appreciate you stopping by. Let me tell you a bit about us.
We have something special here in Londonderry; it is the relationship between the PD and the people we serve. It is strong, open, and resilient relationship, built on a foundation of trust and mutual cooperation. Each of us, as members of this agency views ourselves as public servants, whether sworn or civilian. We do so hewing to our motto, Expect Excellence.
To my mind a police department builds trust in several ways. First in constantly developing its relationship with the community it serves. This website is one way we do that. Our Annual Report to the Town Manager, a public document is another. How we handle complaints another: if you have a concern about how we did our job, we will listen and take a look at your concern.
The most important way a PD builds trust though is in the way it treats people; it must always do so with kindness, decency and respect, no matter what. Don’t misunderstand. Police work is tough work; often the person you are dealing with that day, on that call is having the very worst day of his or her life; as often it is one of a extended series of very bad days, that likely will never end. Anger and despair are the watchwords many people when dealing with police. Sometimes on those days people act out, lashing out at the nearest person, the person they may see as the agent of her or his despair, the cops, us. Our job however is to Expect Excellence of ourselves as public servants. Most of the time here at LPD we succeed. In doing so, we continue to build that trust with our community.
Another way we build trust is in how we handle our budget. In other words are we responsible with the resources you give us, to accomplish the task you have outlined for us as professional law officers. For thirty years LPD has come in under budget. That financial prudence is a core value for us. It will continue to define us as an organization. That fiscal responsibility cements the foundation of trust with responsibility.
A final way we shore up the foundation of trust between LPD and the community is in general transparency. Some things we can’t talk about. Mostly the law and common decency govern that. Everything else, we try to be open about, at least as much as we can. If we don’t know, we say, “I don’t know.” If we are wrong, we say, “I was wrong about this or that.”
There are sixty-six sworn police officers here in town, and sixteen civilian public servants who support the officer responding to a call. They include six telecommunications officers (TCO) or dispatchers, two administrative assistants, a prosecutor, two custodians, an IT coordinator, and four people who work in records management and evidence processing. Every job here makes a difference: the TCO who takes your call when you need help is just as important as the person who makes sure this building, the most significant public asset in Town, your building, is in the same shape that it was when we moved in fourteen years ago. It is a team effort here at your PD. Without the professional effort of one of us, we cannot do our job expecting excellence on your behalf.
That is not to say we don’t have our share of challenges; every community does. Some are good; others not so much. The most significant existential challenge for LPD, a good one I might add, is long term sustained growth. Right now it is not crime or issues of public disorder. Certainly we have our fair share of that. And lately that crime has been laced with the long tragedy of the opioid scourge. Dealing with crime though is what police do. It is our job. In general, with a strong hiring process that sets a high bar, a commitment to career-long training, excellent supervision and a lot of luck, we have had some success dealing with crime and disorder concerns. That has been true for a long while; and with continued effort, a commitment to the philosophy that got us here, and continued luck, we hope it continues.
Some years ago, recognizing that a seismic change was coming, town and police officials began strategically planning for this change in our physical identity that we saw coming. The thought was that even though there is several million square feet and still growing of commercial and industrial space at the airport, even though Woodmont Commons will bring a downtown to town, even though Exit 4A will dramatically alter traffic patterns in Town, even though thousands of new residents are moving in, we wanted to be culturally the same small town, community focused, trust based police department that we have been for the last twenty or more years. We want to Expect Excellence going forward.
With that in mind, we grew out our School Resource Officer Unit, expended our administrative and support roles to prepare for increased Patrol and Detective functions that will follow the striking growth our town has seen and will see; we planned for a future we could see coming. We still are planning. We did it while always remaining under budget, always.
Enough of the serious stuff - take a look around the website; check out our social media pages, learn about us. Friend us. Stop by in either the virtual world or the real world. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Chief of Police