Laconia Police get Twitter account, new software

LACONIA — The Police Department has set up a Twitter feed in order to keep residents apprised of local police news, administrators told the Police Commissioners yesterday.

The Twitter feed is "laconianhpolice" and anyone can sign up to receive the feeds.

Captain Bill Clary said they plan on using it for public safety updates and announcements that impact the overall community and, on occasion, to issue crime updates.

Clary said a recent example of how the department's Twitter account was used was to let the general public know about the recent arrest in an arson investigation.

Commissioner Doug Whittum asked if the police could use Twitter for wanted persons and Clary noted that when the main office of Bank of New Hampshire was robbed they used the Twitter feed to get the news out quickly.

Clary said that even though an arrest has been made for two of the recent spate of arson fires that have plagued the city, the investigation is still active and ongoing.

He said detectives have a lot of follow up and investigatory work to complete and ask anyone with any additional information to contact the Laconia Police.

Police also used $6,000 from the CALEA (Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agency) certification to purchase a computerized documentation management system that will be used to manage all of their internal compliance paperwork.

According to the Power DMS Website, it is the only system specifically designed to manage CALEA certified internal documents such as training qualifications, and personnel records.

More importantly, said Lt. Al Lessard, it will cut down on the mountain of paperwork that must be filed. As an example, he said if an officer attends a certification class — like firearms qualification — a paper copy of must be filed in a many as 10 different files for tracking purposes. Once the system is set up, he said the department will need to scan the paper once and the system will direct an electronic copy to all of the appropriate files.

To pay for the software, the department reduced the amount of money spent on an outside consultant used to maintain certification, which will now be handled internally by an administrator with support from one of the sergeants.