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Manchester police chief requests more officers

The police chief in Manchester is asking for more money to hire more officers to fight the city’s growing drug-related arrests.

Chief David Mara and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas said heroin addicts have helped fuel a 24 percent increase in crimes, such as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. They said that last year, 736 violent crimes were reported, compared with 593 in 2012.

Mara said heroin appears to be the drug of choice for most who are arrested.

“From what I understand, you can purchase it for less than a case of beer,” he said. “So the more we talk about that, the more we have to find a way to get it under control.”

WMUR reported that Mara was at city hall Tuesday night. His budget allows for 221 officers; he’s asked aldermen for money to add more. Mara said the city needs between 250 and 275 officers.

Gatsas said he supports the chief’s efforts.

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