Preserving & Presenting History
By Liz Premo
Atlantic News, Thursday, April 25, 2002[The following article is courtesy of the Atlantic News]
HAMPTON From its low- key beginnings in the mid-1800s (when, according to a newspaper correspondent at the time, there was little need for a large police force to keep the peace), the Hampton Police Department has evolved into a full-time force staffed by almost 120 authorized department personnel, professionally maintaining law and order and ensuring public safety both in town and at the beach.
The majority of the changes that the department has experienced over the years had been previously documented in Chapter 10 of historical author Peter Randall's "Hampton: A Century of Town and Beach, 1888-1988." And now, thanks to the efforts of Lane Memorial Library History Volunteer John Holman, a chronological compilation of newspaper articles, photo- graphs, and Randall's "Century" writings have been permanently organized and preserved, both on the library's Web site and in a binder which Holman presented to Hampton Police Chief William Wrenn last Friday morning..
The two men were joined in the library's New Hampshire Room by Library Director Catherine Redden, Assistant Director Bill Teschek, and Hampton Police Captain Jamie Sullivan. Genial conversation between those who gathered for the occasion preceded opening remarks offered by Holman, who read portions of Randall's extensive essay before presenting the binder to Chief Wrenn.
Wrenn, who has served as police chief for seven of his 28-year law enforcement career with the Hampton Police Department, appeared pleased with the gift. He took time to thumb through the binder's plastic-sheathed pages, commenting on the contents printed on several of them. Expressing his appreciation, he told Holman, "Your timing is perfect — we can actually have a [department] history displayed in the new building."
Wrenn was referring to the town's future police station, approved by voters in the March 2002 election. It is anticipated that a display of department memorabilia (badges, photographs, hand-written police logs, and now the binder) will be a specialized feature of the new structure. Such a display, said the Chief, will provide a record of the "progression of where we were, where we've come from, and where we are today."
Chief Wrenn noted that anyone in the community who may have photographs or other historical materials related to the Hampton Police Department are welcome to contact the department's business line for information on donating or loaning the items. Those who do so will be credited for their important contributions.
It was apparent that the binder will be a very welcome addition to that history-rich display. "This is great," Chief Wrenn told Holman and the other Lane Library staff members. "This is wonderful. I really appreciate it."