Milford PD working construction details in Nashua
PD captain: Construction work detail does not impact taxpayers
NASHUA – While driving through the Gate City, some motorists may be surprised to see officers from towns such as Milford providing detail work at construction sites or similar projects.
The question of whether Milford taxpayers are seeing their money used to provide police services in Nashua has been asked, but The Telegraph has learned this is not normally the case.
Once such instance occurred Wednesday when Nashua resident Craig Hermle was driving down Main Street and noticed multiple Milford police vehicles parked at road construction sites.
“I was riding northbound on Main Street and there was some road construction,” Hermle said. “I noted a couple of police cars on the road. I slowed down and I looked left and right and noticed that there were Milford police SUVs instead of Nashua ones.”
Utilizing neighboring police departments to work construction, security or event detail is not an uncommon practice. However, the money to pay for such services typically depends on the nature of the work.
Milford police Capt. Shawn Pelletier said, generally, construction work detail does not impact taxpayers because the contractors pay for the labor. He also said Milford and Nashua have a mutual aid agreement.
“We have a mutual aide agreement with Nashua, which we’ve been doing for a couple of years,” Pelletier said. “If they have a detail that they have open, our officers are allowed to take it.”
“They call and say, ‘We have (a detail) available,'” he added. “We’ll put it out to our officers and ask them and if they’re off, they can offer to fill it if they want it.”
As an example, Pelletier said if Milford needed help to cover an event such as the annual Pumpkin Festival, officials there would put money in the budget to pay for the assistance of Nashua and other towns with whom they have mutual aide agreements.
Nashua utilizes a third-party company, Extra Duty Solutions, to help fill details throughout the city. Because they are not allowed to assign construction detail jobs through specific orders, they have to reach out to departments with which they have mutual aide agreements when none of the Nashua officers sign up for the extra work.
“It’s all construction jobs – all traffic details,” Nashua Capt. David Bailey said. “Unless the chief has mandated that the road has been shut down, we can’t assign offices. All the detail are voluntary.”
“If we don’t have enough guys who volunteer, we will call extra duty and they will help fill the spots,” Bailey added.
In order to fund the details, Bailey said contractors pay Extra Duty to fill the detail jobs they have. They will fill the spots with either city officers or officers from a cooperating community.
All expenses are then paid by the contracting company through Extra Duty, using the same rate for each job, including mileage as well as wear and tear on officers’ vehicles if cruisers are requested by the contractor.
Bailey said Nashua generally gets help from towns including Hudson, Milford, Hollis and Pelham – all of which are part of the department’s mutual aide agreement.
While Hermle said that he is relieved that neither Milford, nor Nashua, is using taxpayer money to pay for the overlap in coverage, he does not believe a department so far away should be working in the Gate City.
“I’m glad we’re not paying for it, but mutual aide from two cities away doesn’t make any sense to me. We have Hudson, Hollis and Brookline,” he said. “Why do you have to go two towns out?”