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Old 07-08-2009, 08:55 AM   #88
Merrymeeting
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Default We have a problem, right here in River City

I am normally sympathetic to the job the MP, or any enforcement agency, needs to do. They are often in a no-win situation in that no one wants to be stopped or hassled. But everyone wants them to get the “other guy” who is a bonehead. I also believe that the majority of the officers are well-intentioned professionals who take pride in what they do.

However, this thread,and a recent, personal, experience make me wonder if it’s time to take a hard look at the culture developing in the NH Marine Patrol.

My 16-year-old son is a member of the “Lake Host” crew on Merrymeeting Lake. http://www.nhlakes.org/lake-host-program.htm Keep in mind that the Lake Hosts are trained with state funds, and they are expressly told that they should absolutely check the boats of the Marine Patrol officers pulling into / out of the lake. This is reinforced because; a) the Marine Patrol is used to monitor their effectiveness and an officer can report them if they fail to check the boat. b) as much as or more than any, the Marine Patrol boats are in and out of potential infected water bodies on a regular basis.

The Lake Hosts are also trained that they are representatives of the Lakes Region and NH Lakes organization, and they try to be as pleasant and friendly as possible when approaching “guests” launching their boats.

My son worked last Saturday, the 4th. I was appalled when he recounted the following exchange with a Marine Patrol officer at the public ramp.

My son, walking up to the officer preparing to launch his boat: “Hi, Welcome to Merrymeeting Lake. Sure is great to finally see the sun today isn’t it?”

The only response from the officer was a grunt and a sour look.

My son, thinking (ok, so no small talk…): “Would you mind if I check your boat before you put it in the lake?”

Officer, responding in a very angry and aggressive way: “Why? I come here all the time” (clearly sending the message that as MP, he should be above this type of check.

My son explained why they check the boats, and also added that they are expressly told to check the MP boats. At this point the officer cut him off and angrily told him, “Well, hurry up then!”

He checked the boat and the officer launched without another word.

He was similarly sour when he came out.

Not exactly the behavior and attitude I would expect from a professional officer when dealing with a young kid just trying to do his job.

Unfortunately, my son did not note this officers name.
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