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Jan 11, 2016 6:34 PM

Officials launch investigation into Canterbury PD after petition circulates to eliminate it

CANTERBURY - Several complaints against the Canterbury Police Department alleging problems with professionalism and response to calls, has prompted the Sheriff's Department to launch an investigation.

"It's never good when you have a community that lacks confidence in the police," said Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard.

Dozens of residents signed a petition to have the department eliminated, but Hilliard says this study is a way to try to fix what's already in place.

In a public meeting Monday with Canterbury Selectmen and members of the Sheriff's office, a few attending residents raised concerns about transparency between the department and the public.

Townspeople have complained about officers not responding to calls, not following up on cases and having abrasive attitudes.

"Impolite, rude, bullying kind of behavior," said Kay Cushman.

The study will also look into personnel issues - another hot issue for the town as current Chief John Laroche is on leave pending a sexual assault investigation.

The selectmen and the Sheriff's Department agreed to hold another public meeting for residents to voice concerns.

That meeting has not been set. When a date is decided, it will be posted on the town's website.

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