Newport Police Department Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

How do I obtain a copy of a police report?

Requests must be made in writing either by request forms obtained at the Police Department (click here for pdf) or by letter from an individual or insurance Co.

Incident reports are individually reviewed for release.  Incident reports cannot be released if there are suspects, accused, arrested parties or juveniles mentioned in the report.  Edited copies may be released in certain cases.  Any questions pertaining to the release can be answered by our records clerk at (603) 863-3232.  Substantial request may require advanced payment.  Each request will be processed as soon as possible though if additional information is required or the investigation is not complete your wait time for your request to be completed may total 7 to 14 days or more.

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I have to go to Court or I received a subpoena, what do I do?

If you have a Newport Police Department related court case and you have questions about what to expect when you go to court, penalties or the process that may require you to testify,  Contact the Department Prosecutor, Matthew Hogan at 863-8020 for information regarding your case.

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Is there school today?

This is question is asked hundreds of times every time it snows.   The decision to cancel school is not made by the Police Department and therefore we do not have advance notice of school closings.  We learn of closings the same way most everyone else does.  We listen to the local radio stations or check the school-closing list on WMUR news 9 or review the WMUR web site.  When it snows, the emergency calls for service in our dispatch center increase dramatically, straining our resources.  Please be patient with local news services, if the Newport School your child attends was not listed, there is a good chance there is school today, sorry kids!

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There is a barking dog in my neighborhood, what can be done?

Newport's Town Ordinance as well as State Statutes governs barking dogs and noise issues.  If there is a dog that has barked for an extended period of time or consistently barks please call the Newport Communications center at 863-3232 to lodge a complaint.   A police officer will address the situation with the dog's owner.  A Town Ordinance Summons may be issued, however the complainant will be required to write a statement and may be required to appear in court, should the owner contest the summons.  If you wish to speak to the officer about what action is to be taken please advise the communications specialist at the time of the call.

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Why does it take so long for an Officer to show up after I call?

There are several reasons for this.  First, there are often a large number of calls for service and those calls for service frequently outnumber the Officers available to handle those calls.  Secondly, the Communications center works on a triage system; using answers to the questions they have asked you to prioritize calls from highest to lower priorities.  For example, a fight in progress call will take priority over a barking dog or a report of a past theft.

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What can be done if I am the victim of Domestic Abuse?

Whether this is the first such incident or it's a pattern of abuse you need to know that there is assistance available to you.  The Newport Police Department works with victims of Domestic Violence to end violence.  Arrests may be made and protection offered to victims.  If you are the victim, you may be entitled to apply for an emergency order of protection from the court, this may be obtained at any hour of the day or night.  If an incident has occurred while the Newport District Court is closed an officer has the ability to request an emergency order of temporary protection after hours.  If the Newport District Court is open, a protection order may be requested directly at the court.  Also depending on the situation an arrest may be made and additional orders of protection may be provided in the bail conditions of the arrested.  Typically bail orders do not allow offenders to have any contact with the victim or victim's family.  In cases of Domestic Violence, Officers will assist you in making a criminal complaint against your abuser, they will tell you what to expect should this require court proceedings.  There are also other agencies that offer assistance by providing support groups, court advocacy, counseling, emergency shelter and other referrals.  The responding officer will be able to explain these services to you in detail.

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What can be done if my child is "unruly" or is consistently absent from home/runs away?

A report of a missing child should be made to the Police Department as soon as possible.  If abduction is witnessed or facts and information warrant, an AMBER alert may be made.  Be prepared to provide a photo of your child to the officer taking the report as well as a full description of what your child was last seen wearing for clothing.   The missing youth will be broadcast to all law enforcement through the use of the N.C.I.C. (National Crime Information Center).  Upon the location or return of the youth, the Police Department needs to be notified so that the child is canceled from the N.C.I.C. missing persons system.

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What is New Hampshire's Self Defense Law?

 On November 13, 2011 a change to NH's Self-Defense statute.  As a result, there has been much talk about what this law permits or prohibits when it comes to the rights of citizens to defend themselves by means of deadly force. Here are some high points:

~ There is no change to when you may use "non-deadly force" (by definition, force that is not likely to cause death or serious bodily injury) to defend yourself or a third person; you must reasonably believe that someone else is using or is about to use illegal non-deadly force against you or a third person.

~Here's a warning though- if you were the initial aggressor, unless you make it clear to the others involved that you wish to stop the incident and withdraw, you are not permitted to use non-deadly force.

~ "Deadly force" is essentially any force or confinement applied to another that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury. The new law does effect when you can use deadly force.  Before the change, NH state law required a person to withdraw from what could reasonably be determined as a deadly encounter if they could do so safely however, you did not have to withdraw from within your own home or the property surrounding your home.  Now, as long as an individual is any place they are legally permitted to be, they need not withdraw from a deadly force encounter, but rather can defend themselves or a third person from what they reasonably believe to be the immediate threat of deadly force.

(Please See New Hampshire RSA 627:4 Physical Force in Defense of a Person)


How do I know if I need to hire a police detail?

If a road will be encumbered in any way, a police detail may be required.  Usually one officer and or a police cruiser will be sufficient, but verification should be obtained if a detail is needed and the number of officers and or cruisers required.  Certain social or community events will also require hiring a police detail, which may be stipulated by the facility where the event is to take place.   Inquiries into Police Details and if they are required should be directed to the Patrol Division Commander, Lt. Craig Robertson. 

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Can a child be emancipated as an adult in NH?

No.  There is no emancipation law in the state of New Hampshire.  The age of minority for criminal offenses is 17, meaning anyone 17 and older may be charged as an adult for criminal offenses.  For child services, the age remains at 18.  A child can only go to adult court if he/she commits a motor vehicle or aeronautical violation once they reach the age of 16, or that they commit a tobacco related offense after the age of 12.

Juveniles may be "certified" as adults through the court system, but only after certain criteria directly related to a particular criminal offense or offenses have been met.  In other words, parents or guardians can not say that they want their child to become emancipated because they can no longer control them or want nothing further to do with them.

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How and or when can I have my fingerprints taken?

The Newport Police Department will fingerprint you should you or your employment require it.  Fingerprinting is done at the Police Department on MONDAYS from 3 to PM.  Due to the large number of employers requiring fingerprinting, The Newport Police Department will ONLY provide this service to Newport residents.

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How do I obtain a pistol permit?

Applications for pistol permits may be obtained at the Newport Police Department.  Applicants must not be a felon and or have been convicted of a Domestic Violence related offense.  There is a $10.00 dollar fee and once approved, the permit is good for four (4) years.

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How do I obtain a criminal records check?

Only you can request a copy of your Criminal/Motor Vehicle record.  All criminal and motor vehicle records checks are done at the NH State Police Criminal Records Department, 10 Hazen Dr. Concord, NH.  They can be reached by phone at (603) 271-2538.  They are open Monday through Friday from 8:15AM to 4:15PM.  A $10.00 dollar fee is required.  A photo ID is required to obtain the information.

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Where do I go to pay my parking ticket or Town Ordinance violation?

All parking tickets and Town ordinance violations may be paid at the Newport Police Department, or by mailing it to the Department at 59 Main Street, Newport NH  03773.  A receipt will be issued for your records indicating that the ticket/violation has been paid.  All parking tickets/Town Ordinance Violations must be paid in full within 5 business days or 120 hours of issuance.  Failure to take care of your ticket/ordinance violation may result in a court appearance and or a $20.00 late fee may be assessed.

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How do I make a complaint against a Police Officer?

Anyone wishing to make a formal complaint against a police officer is required to make that complaint to a Newport Police Supervisor and or the Chief of Police.  These complaints are generally required to be done in writing.  Anyone wishing to file a complaint may request a complaint form at the Newport Police Department or speak directly to a supervisor.  Each and every complaint will be reviewed and appropriate action taken.  Unfortunately, any action taken against an officer is a personnel matter and therefore cannot be released.  The Newport Police Department takes pride in providing the highest quality law enforcement and related services to our residents.  All Newport Police Officers shall adhere to the Law Enforcement Code of Conduct and professional standards.

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Should I report suspicious activity in my neighborhood?

The Newport Police Department depends on its citizens calling and reporting all suspicious activity.   In today's society where criminals are highly mobile and criminal acts are spread to all corners of our community, the patrol force simply cannot be in all places at all times.  The simple rule is: IF IT LOOKS OR SOUNDS SUSPICIOUS – REPORT IT WITHOUT DELAY!  The communications specialist that you speak to will ask you questions to determine the nature of the activity and descriptions of persons or vehicles involved.  YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE YOUR NAME, it's the information that we require and appreciate.  Although future Officer and or Detective follow up investigations may be made easier if the complainant is known.   If you provide your name, efforts will be made to keep that confidential if you wish.  The Newport Police Department would rather investigate harmless activity than miss one crime about to happen or in progress.

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