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aside, keeping his emotions in check and doing his job in pro- tecting the community by up- holding the law. It is my humble opinion that if everyone were to look at our men and women in blue for who they really are, human beings, this world would be a better place.
For Chief Suckling, he is a human being, a father, a hus- band, and a member of the community using every tool he has to build relationships that help his community. I would be remiss if I did not mention, one of those relationships is a rehab program that offers scholarships to those who are looking to get help. “We were charging people and putting them through the system, but we weren’t offering help.” Suckling recounts. “We wanted to offer the help to those that wanted it. It is extremely expense to go to a rehabilitation facility. This program assists in removing that obstacle.” For more information on the pro- gram, just call the Alexandria Police Department at (603) 744- 6650 and let them know you would like help.
If you would like to do a ride along to see what its all about, call (603) 744-6650. Chief Suck- ling encourages anyone who is interested in their community to reach out to their local Police Departments for a ride along.
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has brought about a fun, light- hearted, dare I say, human side to the badge. “The first winter storm we got, (the 3–4-footer), we went live so people could see how the roads were. People really liked it and I saw it as a great way to communicate with the community.” Chief David Suckling explained to me, as I did a ride along with him on a gorgeous New Hampshire spring morning. “Communi- cation is the key to a successful relationship with who we are here to serve. We are continu- ally working on transparency.” Without it, it can cause a rift be- tween a police department and its towns people. Without trans- parency and communication, you cannot build trust. Without trust, you run a risk of a divide. “It is our goal to form an open communication with the public in any way we can.” Suckling continued. “I want people to know what we are doing and how it all works.” Chief Suck- ling works hard on communica- tion and disclosure to the public. He is open with the press, televi- sion, and newspaper, and trusts them to be honest about the information he is giving them. Sensationalism is not a vocabu- lary word that he tolerates. The facts are given and his thoughts. “It’s a sad story when someone is going to prison for stealing from his father. Its not a juicy story. Its sad. Families are bro- ken, lives get hurt; these are sad stories. But they are stories that the public need to hear. For transparency, for trust, and for the hope that it may help some-
one get help before they choose a path similar or the same.”
Along with building trust with the community, it is ex- tremely important to the Chief of Police of both Alexandria and Danbury, to build and keep relationships within the commu- nity and other law enforcement departments, including town, state, and federal. Those rela- tionships helped the Alexandria and Danbury PD connect an overdose in Alexandria to a drug cartel in Mexico which aided to a major federal bust. “Being a small-town police officer, to us, means you need to be prepared for anything. I have even gone to New Mexico for bomb train- ing” stated the Chief when I asked him about being a small town, rural Police Officer. “We have to deal with everything. We can’t just call in SWAT or other departments, we are it. And we are here to help our community no matter what the situation. That means we train, and are prepared, for anything that gets thrown our way.” He referred to a 2018 animal cruelty case in- volving 22 German Shepherds. “It was an awful case.” he re- calls. “I still see them. But, with the help of the relationships we have in the community, the re- lationships we have with other organizations, and that wide variety of training, we were able to make that arrest and help those dogs.”
Being prepared for anything that may come their way is what police officers train for. Yet, they are human, just like us. When doing the ride along with Chief Suckling, we were doing what was labeled as “routine traffic stops”. Basically, using radar to
issue traffic tickets. With every- one slowing down just by seeing the police car, it was clear evi- dence, to me, that police pres- ence does help speeding. As we went to head back to the station, a car missing its front plate went by. The Chief turned around to do the stop to see if they lost their tag. What was to be a “routine traffic stop” lead to someone trying to get away at a high rate of speed, hiding on a dirt road, Chief Suckling calling for back up, and an arrest. As a ride along, my heart was racing. I was scared. I watched the pre- cision of driving, the calmness that the Chief had when walk- ing up to a car that, not only, ran from him but also hid, and the respect he gave the driver. The backup policer officer came as quickly as he could, about 10 minutes. It is the nature of the beast. It may be a small town,
but the territory is wide. When I asked Chief Suckling how he went from adrenaline running at peak state as he raced to catch the car, to cautiously walking up to a car where he had no idea what he was going to encounter, to calmly dealing with the situa- tion at hand, he said, “Training. I am human. I get scared. Shoot, there have been times where I was scared to death to walk up toacarorahouse.ButIhave training, and at that moment, I have to do what I have trained to do. I use my training and put the fear aside so I can focus on my safety and the safety of who I am encountering and (or) helping.”
To me, Carolyn the writer, that “routine traffic stop” was an awe-inspiring experience. I saw a human-being being a police officer. Referring to everything he has learned, putting any fears
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