Here’s a link to the Article as it will appear on the Ballot:
What it means: This Article seeks to fund training of Police Officers to increase part time staffing, primarily in the summer when our population swells with beach visitors. This funding will support an additional class of trainees to allow the town to augment the current police force. (One class of candidates is currently being trained.)
Those in favor say: Our police force is understaffed, and this is the best way to accommodate seasonal needs. The Police Chief said that our staffing has been going down while our needs have been increasing. It was clarified that the term “Special Police Officer” is a NH designation for the level of training, but the officers will be doing the everyday work of our local policing needs.
Those against say: There was some concern about the level of funding in the Police Department, and whether the money for training might already be available via the Operating Budget. It was clarified at Deliberative Session that this Article represents training for a second class of candidates to be available in the Fall and the summer of 2016. One speaker at Deliberative Session mentioned that in the future, this funding should be made part of the ongoing budget and not be treated as a separate Warrant Article.
Fiscal Impact: The average Hampton home valued at $329,000 would bear an increased tax cost of $11.77 if this Article passes.