NEWPORT — Veteran Newport Police Chief Jim Burroughs will be leaving the department on Jan 31, 2020, concluding a career that covered more than 25 years.
“Unlike a lot of people who retire, I’m not leaving because I have a different job and a new opportunity,” said the 46-year old chief.
“I’m leaving a great town and a great department. Newport has amazing people, all poised for great things to come,” he revealed. Although I’m leaving the department I’m not leaving the community.
“The department is more capable now and has some tremendous talent within the agency,” Burroughs stated.
Now 46, Burroughs graduated from Newport High School in 1993 and joined the Newport PD on Aug 5, 1994. He became Newport’s first School Resource Officer that year, a post he held for four years.
At the time he was one of the first SRO’s in the State of New Hampshire and the first in this region. “It is such commonplace now but back then the School Resource Officer was at the cutting edge level,” Burroughs recalled.
The Newport resident said he truly loved his SRO position. "I was back in school and knew all the teachers,” he noted.
His next post in the department was that of patrol supervisor and field training officer, all under then Police Chief David Hoyt.
Looking back, Burroughs said coming up through the system offered many opportunities.” I knew everybody and they knew me. “And that helped in a job not always popular,” he continued. “You had to be fair, honest and consistent because you’re from the town and know the town and want to give the town higher quality, which is why police departments always strive to hire local officers.”
With an annual budget of about $2 million, Burroughs said one of the challenges today is with the ever-increasing caseload and calls for service. “How do we meet these demands with a shrinking department?” he asked.
Over the years we have been creative with budget cuts…making full-time positions part-time, restricted to 26 hours per week instead of 32, he stated. “We had to find ways to be more efficient.”
In town reports there is talk about statistical data and need to hire addition manpower to support needs of the community. We have been petty consistent over the years with minimal investments,” Burroughs pointed out.
“To be effective, police officers and department heads are heavily connected in health and safety and well-being of the community.”
Burroughs said he thoroughly loved every aspect of his work over the years serving the community.
Burroughs wife, Stacey, is a sixth-grade science teacher at Newport Middle School. The couple has two daughters, one currently a freshman at the University of New Hampshire and the second an elementary school councilor at Richards Elementary School.
“There is no perfect time to retire and this is the right time for me in my life to make a change,” Burroughs said.