DIXFIELD – Police Chief Jeff Howe spoke to the Board of Selectmen on Monday evening about finding more space for the Police Department.

Howe said the department had received a grant for new body cameras and to house the data from them it would have to purchase a stand-alone computer with an external hard drive.

“Unfortunately, we’re at the point where the office is getting pretty cramped and to fit a new computer we’ll have to go across the hall into a closet,” Howe said.

The department is on Route 2 in the same building as the Public Works Department.

“We’re a police station inside a garage,” Howe said. “At times, I can hear the Public Works crew doing work, and it makes it hard to conduct an interview, or just do regular paperwork.”

He said there are security concerns in terms of keeping classified documents private.

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“The way our office is set up, when I’m looking through files for a case, people can lean right across the desk and see what I’m looking at,” Howe said. “Some of these documents aren’t meant to be seen by the public.”

Howe said if the Police Department were to move into a different location, it would also give the Public Works Department more room.

“I know that (Public Works Foreman) Randy (Glover) and his crew have a lot of projects that they’d like to work on, and if the Police Department were in a different building, that would clear up a lot of space for them to do more work,” Howe said.

He suggested the board visit the Police Department and see what it looks like.

“Oh, believe me, I’ve been in there,” Chairman Hart Daley said. “I wouldn’t want to work out of that office space.”

Howe said he “knows it would be a big step for the town, expense-wise” to look at a new location.

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“Sometimes, you have to take a step forward in order to keep up with the times,” he said.

Daley suggested the board schedule a public hearing about the issue.

Selectman Dana Whittemore told Howe he agreed the department needs more space and the town “shouldn’t wait too long to make a decision, so our options don’t disappear.”

Resident Dan McKay said the town should consider creating a committee of residents to discuss the issue.

“It seems like this thing would be a pretty big undertaking,” McKay said. “A little big for a board that only meets twice a month.”

“These are the kinds of things that we could be discussing at a public hearing,” Daley said.

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