End of an era as State Police prepare to leave Rockingham

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Lowering flag

A State Police color guard begins to lower the flag for the last time over the Rockingham Barracks. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

After almost 45 years in service, the Rockingham Barracks is being retired this week and the troopers who work there are moving into new quarters in Westminster along with colleagues from the Brattleboro Barracks.

To mark the occasion, members of the Vermont State Police came together Tuesday for a ceremony to lower the flag signifying the closing of the facility.

flag presentation

Sgt. Thomas Mozzer, right, presents the flag flown over the Rockingham barracks to Capt. Rick Hopkins.

recognition

Lead by Hopkins, troopers give a hand to recognize those who worked at Rockingham

In a brief morning ceremony, a police color guard first raised the American flag from half staff, then lowered, folded and presented the flag to Capt. Rick Hopkins, commander of Troops C and D, which cover the southern portion of the state.

The brief but solemn ceremony, which included a bugler playing taps, was witnessed by several invited guests, including retired troopers who worked out of the building as far back as 1980.

Hopkins spoke to those in attendance saying that the police have not been able to find records of the exact opening of the station, but it appeared to be sometime around 1972. “I’ve been here since 2008, so I’m the new guy,” said Hopkins, who recognized the retired troopers for helping to make the Vermont State Police what it is today.

Among those who gathered to watch the ceremony were retired troopers Terrance Martin and Carl Bailey, both of whom worked at the Rockingham building, and David Smith, who worked for the in communications and was known as “the surgeon” for his radio repairs.

The ceremony was also an opportunity to present two troopers – Anthony Frissora and Sean Reilly – with pins marking the completion of their first year as troopers. Barracks Commander Lt. Timothy Oliver made the presentation.

Troopers Anthony Frissora, left, and Sean Rielly receive one year pins from Barracks Commander Lt. Timothy Oliver

Troopers Anthony Frissora, left, and Sean Reilly receive one year pins from Barracks Commander Lt. Timothy Oliver.

In addition to the police, the 911 operators and dispatch functions will also move to the Westminster Barracks, said State Police spokesman Scott Waterman, who added that once it is empty, the Rockingham building will become the responsibility of the Department of Buildings and General Services.

The new barracks will continue to provide primary police coverage for Andover, Athens, Baltimore, Cavendish, Grafton, Landgrove, Londonderry, Peru, Rockingham, Westminster, Weston and Windham and back-up coverage for the Chester, Ludlow, Springfield, Weathersfield, Winhall, and Windsor Police departments. And it will also provide coverage for the southeast side of the state.

 

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  1. Malcolm Hamblett says:

    This move doesn’t seem to make any sense as most of the towns the police cover are now farther away. What’s the reason for the move? Your article doesn’t say.

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