HANOVER POLICE DEPARTMENT
REPORT A SEXUAL ASSAULT TO THE
A message from Hanover Police Chief Charlie Dennis:
The Hanover Police Department has long recognized the importance of working with victims, community members, advocacy groups, and our health and prevention organizations. These relationships are crucial during the process of investigating and solving crimes, especially the crime of sexual assault.
Sexual assaults are one of the most under reported crimes in our nation and that must change. To help us meet this critical challenge and bring change, we have chosen to implement the You Have Options Program (YHOP) in the Hanover Police Department. This is a program that is victim-centered and offender-focused.
Our motto is "HPD C.A.R.E.S". The "CARES" stands for Compassion And Respect in Every Situation. As we continue to demonstrate compassion and respect through our delivery of services, we have implemented this outstanding new program to help us better serve victims of sexual assault. Our participation in this program is our commitment to you, a sexual assault survivor, that you will not only be heard, but will also have your individual concerns addressed during both the reporting and investigative processes.
We strive to treat all members of our Hanover and Dartmouth communities with compassion and respect. By doing so, we believe it established a high level of trust that allows survivors to feel safe, comfortable, and in control while reporting their experience to us. Our officers take each incident very seriously. The person who committed the sexual assault is solely responsible for that assault and one of our jobs as law enforcement officers is to gather evidence to hold offenders accountable for their crimes.
Our officers and detectives receive advanced training on trauma-informed interviewing and investigative strategies to help us identify serial sexual perpetrators. None of that work can begin without a sexual assault survivor feeling safe and comfortable to report their experiences to us.
We sincerely appreciate every sexual assault survivor who begins the process of reporting their experience to us. We understand that every survivor of sexual assault will have unique concerns during the reporting process and we will work with each survivor individually to address those concerns.
No one at the Hanover Police Department expects any sexual assault survivor to make a decision regarding their participation in a criminal investigation when they initially come forward to report. We provide sexual assault victims with all relevant information and then give them the time they need to make decisions that are right for them regardless of the criminal investigation. Priority is always given to a sexual assault survivor's physical safety and mental well-being. Our officers will dedicate whatever resources are necessary to satisfy a person's safety needs.
I hope that those considering reporting will take a moment to read about the "20 Elements of a Victim-Centered and Offender-Focused You Have Options Program Law Enforcement Response". Outlined within those elements are options for reporting to the Hanover Police Department. Our officers and investigators are always available to speak with you if there are questions about the reporting or the investigative process. There is no requirement to provide any identifying information to get answers and we will work to find a sexual assault advocate and medical care even if you never intend to file a police report.
In closing, the Hanover Police Department strives to work in a manner that will always represent your best interests as a sexual assault survivor. Please know that if you choose to report, our YHOP program is a commitment to sexual assault survivors and our desire to work with you throughout this process.
Charles B. Dennis
Chief of Police
Hanover Police Department
Report a sexual assault to the Hanover Police Department using an online report form:
There is no requirement to provide any identifying information on the report form and no fields on the form are required. You may choose to have a law enforcement officer contact you regarding your online report, include your contact information but request that law enforcement not contact you unless your information could assist in another investigation, request that law enforcement not contact you or request that a sexual assault advocate contact you instead of a law enforcement officer.
The Hanover Police Department documents every online report received with a case number. All provided information is preserved within the report associated with that case number. This includes any information regarding the victim or the suspect. Reports can be made by someone other than the victim. All reasonable attempts will be made by law enforcement to respect the wishes of the person who was victimized when a report is received by someone other than the victim. If possible, contact with the victim will be made prior to any criminal investigative process being conducted such as speaking with a reported perpetrator.
To report a sexual assault to the Hanover Police Department by phone dial 603-643-2222.
If at this point you would like to remain anonymous consider having a sexual assault advocate initiate this call on your behalf. The advocate can provide their contact information to the law enforcement officer that you speak with allowing law enforcement a way to make contact with you in the future (through the advocate) if new information is discovered regarding your report.
Your phone call will be answered by Hanover Police Dispatcher who is located at the Hanover Police station. Although details are not required, the dispatch will ask you the reason for your call in order to better assist you. All Hanover Police Department Dispatchers are trained on the You Have Options Program.
It is okay to say you would like to speak with a law enforcement officer regarding your options for reporting a sexual assault or you may choose to tell the call taker you would like to report a sexual assault. You will be asked for your name, phone number and potentially more detailed information such as where the crime occurred. This question is asked to determine what law enforcement agency will receive your request for contact. If you are not ready to give the exact location where the crime occurred it is okay to be more generic such as “in the Town of Hanover”.
Please be aware that crimes are typically investigated by the law enforcement agency associated with where the crime occurred, not where the victim or suspect lives. If you are not sure of the specific location of the crime, a dispatcher may help you determine if the Hanover Police Department, which includes the Dartmouth College properties, would likely be responsible for any criminal investigation. In most circumstances the Hanover Police Department is only able to investigate crimes that have occurred within the Hanover, New Hampshire.
It may take some time for a law enforcement officer to return your call. This will depend on the call activity at the time and the number of other pending calls received prior to your call. Most calls to the Hanover Police Department are returned by an officer within an hour.
It will be helpful to have an idea of the questions you would like answered prior to the law enforcement officer returning your call. If you are only seeking information and do not want law enforcement to document any of the information you provide please tell that to the officer at the beginning of your phone call so they do not inadvertently begin a case report without your permission. There is no requirement that you provide the officer with any identifying information or details about your circumstances until you are ready to do so.
Officers at the Hanover Police Department are trained to assist you with locating sexual assault advocacy services and can provide information on how to obtain a sexual assault forensic examination. See below for more detailed information on services for sexual assault survivors in Hanover, New Hampshire.
To report a sexual assault to the Hanover Police Department in person you may go to the police department located at 46 Lyme Road Hanover, NH 03755 or call
603-643-2222 and request that a police officer meet with you.
The Hanover Police Department is always open to the public for walk-in questions or reports. Officers are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. To reach an officer by telephone at the department at 603-642-2222.
See below for pictures of the police department and interview room.
If you would like to remain anonymous consider having a sexual assault advocate accompany you to this initial meeting with law enforcement. The advocate can provide their contact information to the law enforcement officer that you speak with allowing law enforcement a way to make contact with you in the future (through the advocate) if new information is discovered regarding your report.
Once inside the lobby of the police department you will be greeted by a dispatcher. It is okay to say you would like to speak with a law enforcement officer regarding your options for reporting a sexual assault or you may choose to tell the dispatcher you would like to report a sexual assault. You may also just request to speak with an officer and tell the dispatcher you would rather not provide a reason until you are talking to the officer. All Hanover Police Department employees are trained on the You Have Options Program.
The Hanover Police Department has a private interviewing room on its’ second floor. You do not need to enter the secure area of the police department to speak with a law enforcement officer in that interview room. Answers to frequently asked questions about the law enforcement interview process can be found HERE.
Resources for sexual assault survivors in
Sexual Assault Examinations in Grafton County:
Sexual assault forensic examinations are free and available at any time of the day or night. See the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about sexual assault forensic examinations.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
1 Medical Center Drive
Lebanon, NH 03756
Dick’s House at Dartmouth College
7 Rope Ferry Road
Hanover, NH 03755
(No Forensic Examinations)
Alice Peck-Day Hospital
10 Alice Peck Day Drive
Lebanon, NH 03766
(No Forensic Examinations)
Sexual Assault Advocacy Services in Hanover, Grafton County:
38 Bank Street Lebanon, NH 03766
1-866-348-WISE (crisis line) 603-448-5525 (local crisis line)
Grafton County Victim/Witness Program
3785 Dartmouth College Highway, Box 7
No. Haverhill, NH 03774
603 787-2040 or 603 787-6968
When can the Hanover Police Department not keep information a sexual assault victim provides confidential or private?
In most cases the sexual assault victim controls who is contacted during an investigation at all You Have Options Program Participating Law Enforcement Agencies. This includes suspects and witnesses. This helps to limit who knows a report has been made until the victim is ready for that information to be known.
In some instances the law does not allow us to offer all of the You Have Options Program’s 20 Elements regarding confidentiality and investigative control. Most often this occurs during investigations involving domestic violence, child abuse or a unique circumstance where there is a significant threat to public safety. New Hampshire public records requests or court orders may also mandate that the Hanover Police Department release of certain information on a case, though this is unlikely in the vast majority of sexual assault investigations. You are encouraged to speak anonymously with a police officer at the Hanover Police Department if you are concerned about maintaining your privacy during the reporting and investigative process.
If a reported sexual assault involves students of Dartmouth College the Hanover Police Department does not provide information that identifies the sexual assault victim to Dartmouth College without that victim’s permission. The Hanover Police Department and Dartmouth College have a strong collaborative response to sexual violence and all Hanover Police Department officers can assist victims with reporting their experience to confidential advisors within Dartmouth College. These advisors have the best understanding of the college’s administrative reporting process and are able to discuss options for both reporting and accommodations on campus while still respecting the victims requested level of confidentiality. Click here for more information about confidential advisors at Dartmouth College.
Law enforcement officers at the Hanover Police Department work diligently to identify and collect evidence on perpetrators of sexual assault. Many of these sexual offenders are serial offenders. Documenting reports of sexual assault is an important first step in making it more difficult for these offenders to continue their criminal behavior. When a victim chooses to participate in a Complete Investigation and their case is turned over to an office of prosecution, other reports involving the same perpetrator may also be provided to the prosecutor. This could impact the level of confidentiality requested by other victims. The Hanover Police Department will respect each victims request for confidentiality whenever legally possible.
Who at the Hanover Police Department is responsible for the agency's participation with the You Have Options Program?
In All personnel at the Hanover Police Department have received training on the You Have Options Program and the elements offered to all victims of sexual assault. Participation in the Program requires each law enforcement agency to designate, at a minimum, one YHOP administrator and one YHOP trainer. The following listed personnel are serving in those capacities for the Hanover Police Department.
Captain Mark G. Bodanza
Captain Mark G. Bodanza
Questions, comments or concerns regarding personnel working at the Hanover Police Department should be directed to Program Administrator Mark G. Bodanza.
Any person who has reason to believe a law enforcement agency participating in the You Have Options Program is willfully and repeatedly disregarding the elements of the You Have Options Program is encouraged to contact the You Have Options Program Director directly by using the contact page found HERE.