HISTORICAL SUMMARY OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION
n April, 1961, several employees of the New Hampshire State Police discussed the formation of an Association. The primary purpose of the Association was to provide financial support to its members.
Previous to 1961, there existed a so-called "Flower Fund" to be utilized for remembrances from the Department upon the death of a member or immediate family members. The employees felt that the time had come for an Association of employees to provide more than existed.
After discussion, a Constitution and Bylaws was prepared and every permanent member of the New Hampshire State Police was sent a copy. Upon approval, application forms were sent to all and the Association came into existence.
The New Hampshire State Police Benevolent Association was duly organized on May 12, 1961 with 98 members. Officers of the Association were President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and one Director from each Troop and Headquarters.
Membership dues were one dollar biweekly. Arrangements were made with the New Hampshire State Employees Federal Credit Union to transfer from member accounts the biweekly assessment into the Benevolent account. This arrangement proved to be efficient and helpful.
Some of the membership benefits were:
1. Retired members could retain membership by maintaining their Credit Union account or by paying the Association directly.
2. Upon the death of a member, the survivors, designated beneficiary or estate would receive $400.00. In addition, $100.00 would be paid to assist the funeral expense.
3. Any member attaining age 70 after May 20, 1970 would be exempt from assessment payment and still retain all benefits in accordance with the Bylaws.
During 1962, the Board of Directors investigated life insurance coverage for the members. It was learned that the Association was not eligible under existing State law. A legislative committee was formed to work with the Insurance Commission and draft an amendment to the law.
In 1963 by legislative action, the amendment was passed and the Association was now eligible to purchase group life insurance. On September 1, 1963, the membership voted to purchase a $2,000.00 life policy from United Life and Accident Insurance Company for each member with no increase in dues.
In 1963, a bronze grave marker designed by Trooper James Spain was chosen to be placed on all deceased members graves during the Memorial Day period each year.
During the annual inspection of the Division of State Police in 1964, all retired members of the State Police were presented with a wristwatch. This watch had the State Police badge imprinted on its face. This practice was continued until 1975 when the watch was replaced by the plaque.
In December of 1965, the membership voted to increase the life insurance coverage by $1,000.00 for a total of $3,000.00. Dues were increased to $1.50 biweekly. As a result of this action by the membership, the article reference of $400.00 and $100.00 death benefit was deleted.
In May 1968, the membership voted to increase the life insurance to $5,000.00 and to increase the dues to $2.10 biweekly. In order to maintain the low premium rate, it was agreed that any insured member attaining age 65 would revert to the $3,000.00 coverage.
In 1970, the Constitution and Bylaws were updated and first printed in booklet form.
In April of 1975, it was learned that the grave markers were being stolen. The Board of Directors presented to the membership a plan, which would eliminate the marker and watch to be replaced by our retirement plaque. This plaque is constructed of dark walnut, approximately 14" x 16", the benevolent bronze shield, and the State Police badge and engraved years of dedicated service, name and/or name and rank. This plan was approved by the membership and immediately put into effect.
In June of 1976, the membership voted to increase the insurance coverage to $10,000.00 and increase the dues to $3.59 biweekly. The age 65 change in coverage remained the same.
Over the years, we have financially aided individual members who have had extreme medical expenses, serious fire losses, legal problems, IRS problems, etc.
In 1980, a committee headed by Daniel Dempsey decided that the Benevolent Association should honor those retired members with an annual banquet. The first banquet was held at the Margate in Laconia, New Hampshire on September 19, 1981. It is at this banquet that a retired member receives their plaque from the Association. Since that time, the Association has sponsored a banquet every year for its retired members until 1991 when expenses and low attendance made it necessary to discontinue the banquet.
Since the scholarship program was implemented in 1981, the Benevolent Association has awarded scholarships to children of its members. These scholarships are awarded based on grades, financial need, civic and school involvement to any child of a Benevolent member.
In December, 1981, the Board of Directors voted to change the insurance company from United Life and Accident to Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Effective in February, 1982, the insurance policy was increased to $12,000.00, double indemnity if accidental. Upon reaching age 65, the insurance policy decreased to $3,000.00.
In 1987, the New Hampshire State Police celebrated its 50th Anniversary in grand style. The Benevolent Association and its members gave their support to this venture in many ways.
Also, in 1987, it was decided that instead of the usual remembrance of flowers on the graves of deceased members of the Division, a State Police flag would be placed on the grave just before Memorial Day and retrieved shortly thereafter. This has worked out quite well with only a few flags being stolen. The flag is placed on the graves by the Benevolent Directors of each troop a few days before Memorial Day and removed shortly afterwards to prevent thefts.
In 1987, the membership voted to increase the dues to $4.82 biweekly.
In 1990, the Association voted to establish a memorial plaque for deceased members of the Division to be displayed on the third floor of State Police Headquarters. This plaque reflects the name of each deceased member of the New Hampshire State Police with his or her dates of service. It was through the generous donation of James H. Hayes that this plaque was able to be displayed. A gold star beside a name indicates the individual lost their life in the line of duty, while a Silver Star indicates the individual died during service with the New Hampshire State Police. A member must have twenty years of service with the New Hampshire State Police in order to have his or her name placed on this plaque unless the member died during service with the New Hampshire State Police, was killed in the line of duty or was forced to retire early as the result of a duty-related injury.
In 1990, dues for noninsurance members were $24.00 a year and dues for members with the insurance option were $156.00 a year.
In November, 1991, the Board of Directors voted to change insurance companies from Boston Mutual to Fort Dearborn Life Insurance Company due to better rates. This change went into effect in January, 1992.
In 1995, the Board of Directors voted to rename the scholarship in the memory of deceased member and past President, Sergeant James S. Noyes, who was instrumental in its development. Sergeant Noyes was shot and killed in the line of duty on October 3, 1994.
In 1997, the New Hampshire State Police celebrated its 60th Anniversary. The Benevolent Association sponsored a gala event in commemoration of this Diamond Anniversary.
Since the dedication of the New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Concord in 1998, the Association has been an active contributor to its upkeep.
In December 1998, dues were increased to $30.00 a year and billed annually by the Secretary for the Association. For members with insurance, dues were increased to $162.00 a year and billed annually or if a member of the New Hampshire Federal Credit Union, a deduction of $6.50 biweekly was made through the Credit Union.
In 1999, flags were placed on the gravesites of deceased Division members commencing with the traditional Police Memorial Day and continuing through the observed Memorial Day.
In September of 2000, dues and insurance assessments were no longer billed on a monthly basis for active members. Dues and insurance are now paid through a biweekly mandatory payroll deduction for all active members of the association. For all nonactive members (retired/resigned members), billing is handled twice a year. All nonactive members whose date of hire falls between January and the end of June are billed in January. All nonactive members whose date of hire falls between July and the end of December are billed in July. All nonactive members who have the insurance and have opted to use the New Hampshire Federal Credit Union, dues are deducted the last payday of the month.
In February of 2001, due to the lack of enrollment by new members as well as rising costs, the insurance option was eliminated. All members utilizing the insurance option prior to February of 2001 are grandfathered.
Current benefits are:
1. Members upon reaching age 65 no longer have to pay dues assessment. Any insurance premium must continue to be paid by the member.
2. Death of mother, father, sister, brother, spouse or child – flowers or contribution to the family or a designated charity in an amount the Board of Directors deems appropriate.
3. Death of member – flowers or contribution to the family or a designated charity in an amount the Board of Directors deems appropriate.
4. Commencing with the Police Memorial Day through the observed Memorial Day, State Police flags are placed on the graves of deceased members of the Division.
5. Upon retirement or resignation with over ten years of service in good standing with the State Police, a plaque or other memento is presented. As long as dues are paid, membership is retained with full benefits. [Rev. 02/06]
6. Upon leaving service in good standing with the State Police with a minimum of three years but less than ten years, a granite memento is presented. [Rev. 02/06]
7. Members can apply to the Board of Directors for financial assistance.
8. The Sergeant James S. Noyes Scholarship program grants several awards to college age children of Association members.
9. A congratulatory memento is sent to a member upon the birth or adoption of a child.
Any employee during their first 30 days of employment is eligible to join the Association. Dues are currently $40.00 a year through biweekly payroll deductions for active members. Dues with the insurance option are $172.00 a year through biweekly payroll deductions for active members. Dues for nonactive members are billed by the Secretary yearly.
For nonactive members with insurance utilizing the New Hampshire Federal Credit Union, dues in the amount of $14.34 are deducted the last state payday of the month.
Starting with a membership of 98 members in 1961, the Association now has a membership in excess of 400 members. Since the first publication of the History, Constitution and Bylaws of the New Hampshire State Police Benevolent Association, many changes have taken place necessitating revision. As an example, back in the earliest years of the Association, they were involved in negotiations for the benefit of its members. When the Association was formed, they were the solitary voice for the members of the State Police. Over the years, the mission of the Association has changed to meet the needs of its membership resulting in Bylaw changes in 1970, 1979, 1991, 1994 and 1998.
A Committee was formed in 2002 to review the History, Constitution and Bylaws to meet the present needs of the Association. The changes were presented to the full membership for their vote in 2003.
At the November 8, 2005 Semi-Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors discussed the need for further clarification of two Sections of the Bylaws–Current Benefits, Sections 5 and 6 in the Historical Summary and Article XV Sergeant James S. Noyes Scholarship. Amendments to the Bylaws were made after a vote by the membership in February, 2006. [Added 1/15/08]
At a meeting of the Board of Directors on January 15, 2008, the Memorial Board Committee members, after research, reported that establishment of the Memorial Board Plaque in 1990 and its criterion as stated in the Historical Section of the Bylaws was probably intended to be added as an Article. After a vote by the Board of Directors, it was felt that this was a housekeeping issue and this was added to the Bylaws as a new article–Article XVIII – Memorial Plaque. [Added 1/15/08]
After meetings of the Board of Directors in 2009 and 2010 concerning the tallying process for determining the recipients awarded for the NHSP Memorial Scholarships, amendments to the Bylaws, Article XV, Sergeant James S. Noyes Scholarship were made after a vote by the membership in March, 2010 to add Service/Longevity of Member to Section 1 and housekeeping additions to Section 2. Eff. 3/11/10
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