The Inner Office
The Chief of Police is the Chief Executive Officer of the Department, and is responsible for the overall leadership and delivery of public safety services to the City.
The Chief of Police is appointed by, and reports to the Portsmouth Police Commission; an elected three-person body of Portsmouth Residents which provides citizen oversight of the Police Department according to the powers, duties and limitations of Title VII, N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 105-C:1 through 105-C:7, and the Portsmouth City Charter.
The Chief’s office is ultimately responsible for strategic and fiscal planning, policy development, labor relations, community relations, inter-governmental relations and coordination with local, state and federal agencies.
The Chief of Police is uniquely positioned to advance awareness of current and emerging public safety challenges, and to find solutions through effective leadership dynamics of engagement, collaboration, and innovation at the local, regional and state level.
Chief Merner is fostering street-level up problem solving and communication with his officers and command staff, through time spent on the street and in the cruisers. He believes developing the talents and potential present in each officer strengthens the entire department and greatly benefits the public safety of the City.
The Outer Office
Chief’s Executive Assistant manages the vibrant stream of commitments, requests, questions, and unscheduled visitors that flow into the Chief’s office every day. The Chief’s Executive Assistant serves in a confidential capacity in a position where no two days are alike. Among many other varied responsibilities, this position has primary responsibility for planning and coordination of Police Ceremonies and Memorials, and interfacing with local, state, and federal administrative personnel on behalf of the Chief. The position also supports the Police Commission with scheduling and posting meetings for the Commission as well as recording and publishing meeting minutes which are bound by statutory timelines. All email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org come to the Chief’s Executive Assistant for triage and dissemination. Chief’s Assistant generates press releases, and press conferences, writes copy and correspondence for the Chief, pursues research, manages scheduling, and executes special projects at the direction of the Chief. Kathleen Levesque has been in this position since 2002, supporting the tenure of six Chiefs of Police.