first responder stipend

NH Police Officer Donates COVID-19 First Responder Stipend to Community

Rochelle Jones, a longtime Portsmouth officer, is taking the $300 a week she's getting from the federal CARES Act and giving it to various charities and businesses

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A New Hampshire police office is paying it forward by donating her weekly COVID-19 first responder stipend to various charities and businesses in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced earlier this month New Hampshire first responders would be receiving $150 to $300 weekly stipends from May 1 to the end of June.

That's when Portsmouth officer Rochelle Jones decided she would be taking her $300 a week stipend and putting it right back into the community.

"I am doing everything that I absolutely can," Jones said Tuesday. "I'm born and raised in this neighborhood, in the community I work in. So it's not just a job for me."

The 17-year officer said the last couple of months have been some of the hardest times on the force and in the community because of the pandemic and that's why she wants to lend a helping hand.

"I'm going to donate it back to just Portsmouth. The different local charities, the restaurant relief fund association," she said.

The officer's own mother lost her job and Jones admits she has debt that she could use the money towards.

"In times of fear, people want to go into themselves and be like, 'I have to make sure I take care of me and make sure I'm taken care of first,' and that's the quick reactive thing to do," Jones said.

But Jones said she wants to inspire the community to look out for one another.

"Go outside of yourself and give that to somebody else. It will come back to you," she said.

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