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Date last updated: Wednesday, October 19, 13:47 PST

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Councilor in NH votes against police grant, cites 'principle'

By Dana Wormald
The Union Leader

DERRY, N.H. — The Derry Police Department will once again be able to use federal funding to maintain additional highway patrols during peak commuting hours, although one councilor did oppose the grant application on principle.

The $4,500 for the Derry Operation Safe Commuter Patrols come from a federal grant from the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency and allows for extra highway patrols during the morning and afternoon.

"The money includes approximately $900 in roll-up costs above and beyond the officers' salaries," said police Chief Ed Garrone. "The only cost to the community is the cost of the vehicles used during these various patrols."

Derry is one of many communities throughout the state taking part in the program, the chief said.

"What we are concentrating on is citizens on their way to work and on their way home," Garrone said. "We have found that distracted drivers are the primary cause of collisions at those times of day."

All town councilors approved the application and acceptance of the grant funding with the exception of Kevin Coyle, which seemed to take some of his fellow councilors by mild surprise.

"I'd love for you to explain your no vote," council Chairman Brad Benson said.

"It's a principle thing; it has nothing to do with thinking the patrols aren't useful," Coyle said. "It's that the federal government is so deeply in debt and it keeps spending money. It has to stop somewhere."

The grant funding runs from October through the end of next September.

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