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Trainings, volunteers among GPD highlights

March 28, 2019
Upcoming projects, trainings, and citizens' involvement were some of the highlights from the police chief's report to the selectmen.

Police Chief Anthony Bean Burpee gave a regular report on his department to the board of selectmen during the March 13 meeting. Bean Burpee updated the selectmen on personnel shifts, trainings, and other activities.

Work will start this spring on an impound lot. The money set aside for this project has been made available after the budget passed. Bean Burpee said they will be working with Public Works Director Jason Hayden and other parties on the project, possibly having it done by this summer.

The department has been leading and scheduling a number of active shooter and emergency operations trainings in the community.

In May, they will be leading tabletop exercise at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, a venue that can have up to 9,600 patrons and 500 to 600 staff members. Representatives from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force will tour the pavilion in May, and might look at and discuss emergency operation plans. Bean Burpee said this will get an emergency operations plan in place if something does occur at Bank of NH Pavilion.

They will also be doing training on the digital forensics system Cellebrite as well as crash investigation, potentially using the runway at the airport.

Bank of New Hampshire had asked the GPD to do some emergency training at their Gilford branch. Bean Burpee said the bank liked the training so much they have asked the GPD to work with the Laconia Police Department for a training at the main branch in Laconia.

The second annual Citizen's Police Academy started in February, 12 students have been taking part in the once a week course for two or three hours a class over 12 weeks covering different topic areas. The week before the meeting the students went to the Huot Technical Center in Laconia for a mock trial conducted by students with participation by department members.

The latest member of the academy will graduate in May.

The Gilford Police Department will take part in Drug Take Back Day in April. On April 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., members of the department will be at CVS collecting any unused medication and safely disposing of it, a process that is completely anonymous. There is also a box in the town hall lobby where people can drop off their unused or expired medication.

The department has received some Highway Safety STEP grants, which will allow the department to do extra patrols for DWI, distracted driving, and speed enforcement. The details will supplement the usual highway details and run for three to six hours focusing on these specific areas.

Bean Burpee said a number of volunteers have been helping out with some day-to-day tasks. The volunteers will perform tasks such as scanning, data entry, shredding, and bringing in food. A few volunteers also do winter house checks, which frees officers to take calls for service.

"I knew that you had this, but I didn't realize the depth that it was going," said board chair Gus Benavides.

Benavides said having these citizens volunteer is also a big savings to the taxpayers. He asked how they can find more people who would be willing to volunteer.

Bean Burpee said the only requirement is the volunteers work at least five hours week. He said there's a steady group of six volunteers with four or five there weekly. Volunteers have worked on filing and last year they spent three hours detailing the interior and exterior of cars.

Varney Smith
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