By STEPHEN BEALE
Union Leader Correspondent
GOFFSTOWN --- 03/31/07:
Capt. Glenn DuBois is retiring from the Goffstown Police Department in much the same way he started 33 years ago.
His last day on the job was yesterday, but DuBois is asking the board of selectmen if he can stay on the department as a part-timer, a position he held when he first started. "You're trying to wean yourself off it slowly," DuBois, 52, said yesterday. "This is the easiest way of weaning myself off policing." He joined the department in 1974 in his late teens, too young, according to federal law, to even purchase his own weapon. "I couldn't even go down and buy my own handgun at the time," DuBois said. "I had to have my father sign for it." Since then, DuBois has earned a reputation as an in-house firearms expert at the department, responsible for most weapons training at the department. It is a passion that he enjoys outside of his work as a lifelong hunter of small game and deer. DuBois is also a member of the Goffstown Fish and Game Club and the National Rifle Association.
"He has forgotten more about firearms than I will ever know," said Lt. Michael Sullivan. "This guy is a wealth of information about firearms."
DuBois, a captain since 2003, wears many hats at the department. He is the coordinator for on-site inspections of equipment and organization and is responsible for day-to-day police operations, reviewing all case loads as well as handling most of public relations work. As captain, he is the second-in-command at the department.
"You could count on him in all kinds of situations-day to day and the unusual," Chief Michael French said.
Despite his largely supervisory role, DuBois said he still gets called to active field work. In 2005, he participated in drug raid on Wallace Road, where police snagged $35,000 in cash and a stash of marijuana valued in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Capt. Glenn DuBois loads a shotgun at the
Goffstown Police Department. (STEPHEN BEALE)
In 33 years, he's seen his share of tough cases. The ones that have left a lasting impression on him are not the ones with big arrests or long investigations, but rather those that have ended in tragedy.
In the early 1990s, a boy riding his bicycle along Elm Street in downtown Goffstown apparently slipped and was crushed to death under a tractor-trailer dump truck.
DuBois, who was a sergeant at the time, was the second officer on the scene.
He was tasked with telling the boy's parents what had happened. "What do you say to mom and dad when their son has been killed like that?" DuBois said.
Ten years ago, DuBois is credited with founding the annual Halloween Safety Day, a program that he says has helped to avert accidents involving young children. He came up with the idea, he said, after the board of selectmen moved trick or treating to Halloween evenings.
DuBois said he raised money from local businesses to buy blue-colored glowing necklaces police planned to hand out to children while they were out trick or treating. DuBois initially purchased roughly 1,200 of them to hand out at the Hannaford's plaza.
Since then, Halloween Safety Day has become an annual event, complete with a costume contest, bags of candy, and pumpkin decorating at the Hannaford's plaza. Now, the department distributes about 5,000 of the glow sticks at Hannaford and while on patrol throughout the town. Many of the officers, DuBois said, volunteer to help out with the program.
"It's probably one of my proudest achievements," DuBois said.