With So Much Cash Flowing Through N.H. Liquor Stores, State Looks To Hire Armored Cars

Sep 20, 2018

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission is looking to hire armored cars and install safes at its retail stores as it manages huge quantities of cash.

The Liquor Commission released a request for proposals in August and says three armored car companies have submitted bids for a contract to service all 79 stores statewide. 

The agency expects to begin negotiations with a winner next week.

Last winter, the Liquor Commission ran a pilot program at 10 stores, calling the use of armored cars “extremely successful.”

The contract comes as the agency is under investigation by the N.H. Attorney General for how it handles large all-cash purchases by so-called bootleggers. So much cash runs through some liquor stores that the agency has installed cash-counting machines and begun training employees using Monopoly money.

[You can find NHPR's previous coverage of this story here.]

As early as 2012, a surge in cash sales made to bootleggers from out-of-state prompted one bank official to recommend the use of armored cars to the Liquor Commission. The State Employees Association, the union that represents rank-and-file workers at retail stores, has raised the issue of employee safety with management in the past.  

That fear of robbery was echoed in a memo released in February by Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky, which spurred the Attorney General’s investigation.

Volinsky will likely get to vote on the armored car contract when it comes before the five-member Executive Council for approval.