Officer Stephen J. Arkell Badge #87
Stephen “Steve” Arkell was born in Stamford, CT on November 18, 1965. Moving into Brentwood at the age of six, he attended the Brentwood and Exeter School systems and in 1988 graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a Minor degree in Sociology. He then began a career as a Master Carpenter. He married and made a home for his wife and two daughters in Brentwood.
In March of 1996 Steve was hired with the Town of Brentwood as the Animal Control Officer, and on January 14th 1997 he was sworn in as a Part Time Police Officer. Steve epitomized what it means to be a “Community Police Officer.” He often stopped to talk to children in the community, sometimes letting them sit in the cruiser to flash the lights or turn on the siren. His fair approach and way with people was often modeled and used as an example when training new officers. Even with all of his time and experience in law enforcement, Steve always wanted to continue learning. He was a peacemaker, a problem solver, a volunteer, and an absolute pillar of the community, receiving many posthumous awards.
Steve dedicated many years to coaching his daughters and other children involved in youth sports. He coached soccer for over twelve years for the Brentwood and Exeter teams. He was a well-respected assistant varsity lacrosse coach at Exeter High School. In the school community he was known simply as “Coach.” He loved the outdoors. He was an avid outdoorsman, hunter, and fisherman. Anyone who knew Steve would tell you he was enthusiastic, passionate, and always willing to help. He did this simply because it was the right thing to do. He believed in his community coming together to help one another. He loved his community.
On May 12, 2014 shortly before 5:00pm, Patrol Officer Stephen Arkell was shot and killed after responding to a domestic dispute at a home on Mill Pond Road. When he entered the home, a male subject opened fire, killing Officer Arkell. Responding Officers were forced to retreat from the home due to continued gunfire. A short time later a massive explosion and fire destroyed the home. The subject is believed to have been killed in the explosion. Officer Stephen Arkell had served with the Brentwood Police Department for 17 years. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.
On April 4th, 2015 the first annual Officer Stephen Arkell Community 5k was established to remember and honor Stephen's bravery and dedication to his hometown. Thousands of volunteers from near and far came out to ensure that Stephen’s small towns values of supporting one another would never be forgotten. Following the race, The Officer Stephen Arkell Memorial Scholarship Fund was established. This fund awards up to $5,000 scholarships yearly to graduating seniors of Exeter High School. These recipients demonstrate the same sense of community, volunteerism and love of athletics that Stephen possessed, ensuring that Stephen will live on in the hearts of our youth’s for generations to come.
Stephen Arkell was laid to rest in Brentwood and continues to look over the community and its Officers to this day.