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May 20, 2015 2:38 PM

Elimination of fire station, police jobs in Derry has residents fuming


DERRY - The Town Council called a meeting Tuesday night hoping to alleviate a financial burden on tax payers.

Howevever, the meeting featured a series of outbursts, and residents were escorted from the building by police.

But a decision has been officially made.

Beginning in July, Derry Fire Station 4 will be shut down, and several firefighters and police officers will lose their jobs.

The decision has some homeowners already thinking of the next big bill to come - the rise in their home insurance.

“The off-set raise in our insurance and in our fire insurance has got to go up," said Mike Gendron, who lives near Station 4. "That fire station they want to close is the closest to my house and these guys (the councilmen). It will be on them if something bad happens.”

Taxes may be dropping for an average homeowner by $250, but safety concerns are increasing as well.

Derry Police Chief Ed Garone is upset that four positions will be eliminated from his force, three of which are currently occupied.

“We’ve had officers leaving here at a hemorrhaging rate since this controversy came about," he said. "And it’s usually all my young guys with families and maybe a new baby that are the first to go.”

Residents are also buzzing about the outbursts and police escorts Tuesday night.

“I was asked to leave," said Neil Wetherbee, a former councilman. "I was asked to leave several times, and finally the officer came over and I didn’t want to make their job any more difficult.”

Wetherbee told NH1 News that Derry’s next big issue will be at the polls.

“We’ve got three councilmen up for re-election soon, so the answer to the problem will have to start there," he said.


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