By Alex Lippa
---- — PLAISTOW — Brian Farrell is juggling two roles within the Plaistow police department.
Farrell is on the night shift as he prepares to become a full-time police officer, but also is the animal control officer for the time being.
Deputy police Chief Kathleen Jones said the search is on to find a new, part-time ACO. The department also has a contract to provide animal control services to Danville.
“The hours really vary, depending on the calls to service,” Jones said. “I would say the job usually averages around 20 hours a week.”
In the meantime, Farrell will play a dual role when needed. He is slated to go to the police academy in June, meaning the department will have all hands on deck until the position is filled.
“Officers on duty will be called to handle it,” Jones said. “Or we will ask animal control officers from other communities for assistance.”
Farrell has worked with Plaistow since May 2012. He is paid $15 per hour for animal control work.
“Brian’s been really great in the position he’s been for us,” Jones said. “Hopefully, we find someone who is just as good.”
Jones said the animal control position is a crucial one in her department, and said it will be filled quickly.
“It’s one of those quality-of-life issues which makes it an important function for the town,” Jones said.
In 2011, the town built an animal control facility on Wilder Road. The kennel features indoor pens for cats, dogs, birds and smaller animals.
“We’ve worked hard in the community to put together a great kennel,” Jones said. “We have a nice kennel where animals can be treated very well.”
The town received a $32,000 grant from the New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security for a generator for the facility.
Applicants for the position must be 21 years old, have a knowledge of animal behavior, and be comfortable working with a wide variety of wildlife and domestic animals.