LACONIA — Lt. Rich Simmons presented a short movie about suicide prevention to the Police Commission yesterday, made by a team of police and local mental health agencies working with the Huot Technical Center at Laconia High School.
Simmons involvement in the project came when he and a team of officers, civilians, detectives and dispatchers created a police-oriented project and presented it to local mental health agencies to illustrate the role of the police in suicide prevention and how the department could help get the word out about local agencies that could help suicidal people.
He and a few members of the original team — Lt. Allan Graton, Master Patrol Officer Ben Black, K-9 Officer Michael Armstrong, Dispatcher Marnell DiLorenzo, Patrol Officer Rick Bassett and Chaplin Mark Drouin — joined forces with the media arts program at the Huot Center, Dave Bouchard of Genesis Behavorial Health, Tammy Levesque former of the Lakes Regional Partnership for Public Health, and Deb Baird and Elaine Demello from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The short film highlights things each agency can do for someone who is suicidal or a close friend or family member who has a loved one who is suicidal. It can be viewed on the Laconia Police Department YouTube page via a link on the Laconia Police Department Website.
It includes phone numbers of agencies that can help and explains how the police can direct someone to immediate assistance. The department is also able to take weapons from people who are having problems for temporary storage until the crisis has passed.
In other business, the Police Commission voted unanimously yesterday to give Chief Chris Adams and Capt. William Clary each a three-percent raise.
Adams has been chief for four years and an employee of the department for 21 years. Clary has been captain for eight years and an employee of the department for 26 years.
"This is a good thing," said Police Commission Chair Warren Clement, who added that the city of Laconia is lucky to have two outstanding and dedicated employees like Adams and Clary.
Clement also noted that Clary hadn't had a raise in about six years.
Beginning the 2016 fiscal year or July 1, 2015 Adams will earn $107,863 however is raise is retroactive to June 1 of this year. Clary will be earning $93,892.