Police Chief DeNaro Talks Crime, Manpower Shortages and Tech

Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro and Deputy Chief Anthony Haugh, were guests on WHAV’s Open Mike Show, Monday night.

Crime stats are down overall in Haverhill, but numbers can be deceiving.

This according to Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro and Deputy Chief Anthony Haugh, who were guests on WHAV’s Open Mike Show, Monday night.

“You see our uniform crime reporting numbers, and there are five or six categories and you just add those numbers up. We could have 20 more burglaries this year than last year, but we could have 25 less car thefts so it would be that minus five number, so they’re not necessarily down in every category. Some fluctuate.”

Federal statistics indicate the Haverhill Police Department is short on manpower. Currently, there are 94 officers, but federal indicators state the contingent should be closer to 145. While DeNaro would like to put more cops on the streets, he’d also like to add more sergeants to the mix in order to help supervise those officers.

“It’s great to put patrolmen on—to have extra patrolmen on the road and keep adding officers, but you really have to have supervisors that are with, that guide them, that mentor them. When you make your span of control too large, that’s an issue in a para-military organization like a police department,” he explained.

Technology Helps Police Better Use Manpower

DeNaro touted the use of technology, including predictive analysis software which helps the department better use the manpower they have in more police-active areas of the city.

“We’re more reactive than pro-active because we have had to make zones that are so large, officers don’t have the time to do those pro-active things you really want them to do to keep crime down. We have had to use technology to assist us. We have predictive analysis software. We have over a hundred cameras that are deployed. We use those things to help officers have all of the technology they need in their vehicles like laptops—everything they need, radar units, license plate readers that are on two of the cars and going on two more of the cars. We try to give them the tools to help assist, to try to make up for the shortage of manpower.”

According to federal averages, the City of Haverhill should have a total of 145 police officers. The chief talked about how the FBI comes to those averages.

“They look at the number of sworn and look at the number of non-sworn and they make an average for those areas. So, for the northeast, it’s 2.2 (officers per 1,000 residents) and that’s looking at everybody in the New England area and just making an average. It’s not very scientific, but basically that’s how they do it.”

DeNaro talked about the pressures of running a police department with less manpower.

“Do I think we should have 145? I would love to have 145. We do need more officers desperately. The city needs to make a serious commitment to increasing the staffing level of this police department. We run this department like it is a 145-man police department. In doing so, there are down sides to doing that. You’re working your officers seven-days-a-week. You’re working them sometimes 60, 70 hours overtime in a week. A lot of things can happen when you’re doing that and you cannot really sustain that forever,” the chief explained.

While the department is shorthanded, the chief talked about a process each officer is taking during their shift, which is talking, face to face with at least two people per shift.

“It was a program Capt. (Stephen) Doherty started, and what he’s doing is, we’re encouraging the officers to get out of the police car and talk to people. It could be a matter of just going up to a stoop and talking to a couple of kids or parents that are sitting there. It could be going into a park…so it’s just a matter of going out and connecting with the community,” said DeNaro.

DeNaro also announced an increased presence on social media in an effort to make police officers more down to earth in order to create an open dialog with the community.

12 thoughts on “Police Chief DeNaro Talks Crime, Manpower Shortages and Tech

  1. This Chief is the biggest failure in the city if Haverhills history as to Chiefs. Listening to this guy tell us how to reduce crime when Haverhill is the most violent its ever been in its history has to make everyone just shake their head. Mayor Jimmy will never make it higher because of this.

      • Scott, the Chief is in a no win situation. In the mayor he has a far left wing liberal who has embraced the progressive agenda to advance his standing among democrats in the state, especially welcoming criminal trespassers to the city. That has brought drugs, gangs, rapists, and criminals of all sorts to the city. EVERY day DeNaro puts the lives of his officers, and Haverhill citizens, at risk for not speaking out against Failurentini’s agenda. But how can he, he’ll be fired. So he plays the game all Chiefs in this state play of going along with the insanity. In Haverhill, the Chief even has to deal with Andy Vargas who not only promotes criminal invaders in the city, he’s so indoctrinated into the insanity he takes action by using his Facebook page to interfere with law enforcement officials in the city doing their job. If the Chief was really honest about public safety in Haverhill he’d be speaking out against the mayor’s public policy decisions, especially regarding criminal illegals in the city. That then would educate the public, who if they knew the truth about what is really going on would vote differently.

  2. What troubles me is DeNaro being so comfortable calling the department para-military.

    It’s a CIVILIAN police department NOT a military organization! How do you expect public support?

    Friendly, familiar , professional officers that are easy to approach are the most effective crime fighters. Para-military military…disgraceful.

    • MissK….It was a professional Freudian Slip. He revealed the department operating designation unintentionally, which probably really pissed his boss off, because Mayor Failurentini wants to keep it all a secret. If one pays attention, it shouldn’t be a secret at all of the military operating procedures of the department. At the Kid’s Fest they had cop cars blocking each end of downtown with multiple cops wearing bullet proof vests patrolling the streets. On weekend nights downtown looks like it’s under martial law there are so many cops. The city owns a military style SWAT vehicle.

      We’re not in Mayberry RFD…it’s Haverhill which is overflowing with gangs, drugs and criminal invaders from other countries. I applaud the Chief for his approaching his job with a military mindset, because the mayor has made this city so dangerous that is exactly what is needed. We’re not being told even half the things that are going on. And now, the local newspaper doesn’t print the police logs, which further adds to the problem of citizens being informed.

    • Any police dept is para-military. They have ranks, a chain of command, guns, and at times have to fight it out with people. I don’t know if you’ve ever talked to people who are in the military but my experience is that they are generally very nice. I have found the Haverhill police officers that I have dealt with have also been very nice. I don’t see a problem with the term para-military.
      (of an unofficial force) organized similarly to a military force.

      The police do have ranks, that makes them organized similar to a military force. So what?
      The police officers take orders. I don’t see where that is unreasonable.
      They are trained to use various weapons, isn’t that what you would expect?
      If necessary they will shoot to kill. That doesn’t sound unreasonable.

      I don’t see your connection between paramilitary and a lack of friendliness and approach-ability.

      I used to go out to Ft. Devens on Armed Forces day weekend when it was opens The Army was very friendly. No problem approaching or talking to them. I’ve found that the professional soldiers were very nice.

      The term paramilitary has nothing to do with friendliness or approach-ability. It simply refers to how the organization is organized. The Salvation Army is paramilitary in its organization structure as well.

      I think you need to educate yourself a little more on this subject.

  3. Chief, when Haverhill police officer John Rogers was working the night shift and literally sleeping at his girl friend’s house you “reacted” to that by doing nothing. The scumbag Rogers walked right in and retired and you and the mayor made no attempt to go after his pension in anyway. Your unwillingness to do what was right is going to cost Haverhill taxes over $2MILLION dollars because the thief is so young. Sorry Chief, you’ve lost all credibility as a law enforcement leader for the taxpayers.

    Who’s policing the police officers? When Haverhill cops are spending nights at their girlfriend’s house, sleeping in their vehicles in the upper Plug’s Pond parking lot, and camping out in business parking lots all over the city surfing the internet it’s kind of hard to believe the city needs more manpower.