Officers involved in Weare police shooting back on patrol
The two Weare police officers believed to be directly involved in an August shootout with a suspected Manchester drug dealer are back on active duty, said the department’s police chief, John Velleca.
Town officials said in November that the officers, who have yet to be named pending a state investigation into the shooting, had returned from paid leave but were not patrolling the streets. Velleca said yesterday that the men have since been used in the field, especially during emergency situations.
Velleca said that he had consulted with the attorney general’s office, which is handling the investigation, before making the switch. A message left yesterday for the assistant attorney general overseeing the case was not immediately returned.
Velleca declined to specify what, if any, steps or tests the officers were required to take before returning to patrol, citing personnel rules. But, he noted, “There is no reason for me to restrict their duty in any way shape or form.”
In November, former Weare police sergeant Joseph Kelley was fired from the department, weeks after being placed on leave for reasons, he said, related to the shooting.
The attorney general’s office has yet to announce when it plans to release the findings of its investigation, or whether it intends to bring criminal charges against any of the officers involved.