Wednesday May 1, 2013

HINSDALE, N.H. -- The town’s police department is at full staff after two new officers were officially sworn in during Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting.

Officers Gerald Palmer and Joshua Murray took their oaths from board Chairman Mike Darcy in front of their respective families as part of the final item on the evening’s agenda. Both swore to perform all duties associated with being a police officer "agreeable to the rules and regulations of the Constitution and laws of the state of New Hampshire."

Hinsdale Police Chief Todd Faulkner said Palmer and Murray met a lengthy list of criteria and fill the final two full-time openings the department had.

Palmer, who lives in Hinsdale, told the Reformer he has been familiarizing himself with the streets of Hinsdale since being hired earlier this month.

"I feel like I’m going to be here for a long time and I’m hoping to work my way up within the ranks," he said after he and Murray were sworn in.

Palmer said his interest in law enforcement was sparked when he went for a ride-along with a college friend that became in officer in Dover. He said he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is excited to work with people.

Murray, who lives in Swanzey, said he works as an emergency medical technician for DiLuzio Ambulance in Keene and served four years as an infantryman in the U.S. Marine Corps. He said his experience in those two fields got him interested in a career in law enforcement.

Faulkner said the two men are on payroll and can now perform all duties incumbent with being a police officer, though they will be with a training officer whenever they are on duty. They must also, Faulkner said, go complete four weeks at the police academy and 600 hours of training with the Hinsdale Police Department. The chief said they will have about 1,200 combined hours of training.

Faulkner said Palmer and Charles Johnson, a 20-year Army veteran recently hired, will complete the academy in September while Murray will take the winter course.

He said the men were selected from a group of seven candidates that was whittled down from 30 qualified applicants.

"It’s very intensive. It includes a polygraph examination, a psychological examination, a very in-depth background investigation and we also look at personalities as well. We were looking for officers that are going to be a part of the family-oriented group that we have and that’s difficult to find," he said. "So these guys, they met the qualifications on many different levels."

Both oaths were fittingly taken in front of Selectman Wayne Gallagher, who served as the town’s police chief for 11 years. He was replaced by Faulkner.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.