FBI training in Gilford makes good use of new multi-purpose room

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — This entire week, the multi-purpose/emergency management room in the police station is filled with local police officers who are in leadership training with the FBI.

Included in the group are three Gilford police officers, and two of them are attending the $699 training session at no cost because the department is hosting the training session.

"One of the goals of building (the multi-purpose/emergency management room) was to cut down on some of our training costs," said Lt. Kris Kelley who was part of the initial planning process for the 2015 police station renovation.

As part of the $1.64 million police station reconstruction, the department applied for and received a $169,000 federal grant that, in part, provided for the construction of the emergency management room. Kelley said the revamped police station was designed so the room could also serve as a community room that could be accessed from both the internal entrance to Town Hall and from the Police Department.

"In an emergency," said Kelley, "we have the means to completely secure it from the general public."

The Law Enforcement Executive Development Association Training is but one of the training sessions the police have done in the room.

Divided into three segments, this week's training is for entry-level command staff such as sergeants and those who aspire to be sergeants. A command session for mid-level command staff will be held in the end of January, and in March the third section for executive command staff such as chiefs will be held.

Until now, Kelley said the closest available venue for this type of high-level training was in Hampton or in a different state. Fore example, he said he took a similar course when he was a sergeant and spent two weeks in Rhode Island.

"Now our local police agencies have only to drive to Gilford in the morning," he said.

Kelley said there were three primary goals for building the multi-purpose/command center, and the first one was to cut down on department training costs by hosting the classes.

This year, the police department has also sponsored active shooter training for area civilians who were then able to return to their workplaces and impart their knowledge to their coworkers.

He said the second reason was to provide Gilford and other area officers with some of the best training available and eliminate the costs of travel.

Thirdly, Kelley said the multi-purpose room is also a space the community can use. He said that, with the exception of the Gilford Public Library, the police department has one of the best community spaces available in town, which is needed because the library is always so busy.

He also noted that if there were to be an emergency within Gilford, the town has an acceptable and secure spot for an operations center. He said that all of the latest technology interfaces have been installed, so if there is an emergency Gilford is prepared.

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Ron Bayne, a retired commander from the Scottsdale Arizona Police Department, conducted a training session at the new Gilford Police Department training room Monday. (Courtesy photo)

Man accused of rape wants jury to hear evidence of victim’s motive

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — A Gilford man accused of forcibly raping his girlfriend in January has asked that the jury be allowed to read requests he made in family court asking for custody of his minor daughter, saying that his requests for custody gave her a motive to fabricate the alleged rape.

Carroll Thompson, 33, has also requested the jury hear recordings of conversations between him and his alleged victim, extracted by police, that he says are evidence of her drug abuse, her hatred of him, her violent threats, and her desire to take her child back to Concord where she was allegedly involved in heroin use.

Thompson lived in Sergeant Park with the alleged victim and their 3-year-old child from Christmas of 2015 until Jan. 20, 2016, when she called the police and said that he forcibly raped her.

Thompson has said he didn't do it and that she fabricated the entire thing to keep him from petitioning the court a second time for custody of their child because of her alleged heroin use.

The paperwork he wants the jury to see is an emergency written request he made for custody of the child on Nov. 2 to the 4th Circuit Family Court, Laconia Division.

In that request, Thompson said that the alleged victim had contacted him in July and asked him for help in quitting heroin, so he accompanied her to her sister's home in Vermont. He said her sister called the police for fear that the alleged victim was dying but the police said she was not dying.

He said that after three days, she returned to using heroin and told him the the child would be safer with him. He wrote that she called him in August, said she was being abused by someone in Concord and wanted to live with him and the child in Gilford.

He said she came to Gilford in August with the child but left because she didn't get along with Thompson's mother. He wrote that she and the child were staying in various hotel rooms and also learned that the person she was supposed to be staying with hadn't seen much of her or their child.

Thompson said he also learned she was using heroin again and filed an emergency order for temporary custody.

Thompson withdrew his request about two weeks later because he said he was told she had entered into a detoxification clinic on her own and the child was with her family and was safe.

"This is a big step in the right direction for her ... for recovery," he wrote, in his request to withdraw the custody petition.

Thompson feels that if the jury learns about the request he made for custody along with recovered phone conversations in which the alleged victim threatens to kill him and others and also says there never was a detox clinic, that they will understand her motive for fabricating the rape accusations.

The state has yet to respond to the motions and a hearing is scheduled for later this month. No date has been set for the trial and Thompson has been in the Belknap County House of Corrections since his arrest on Jan. 21 after being ordered held on $25,000 cash-only bail.

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Apple Ridge fills need for city rental housing

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Apple Ridge, an apartment building on Provencal Road, began leasing in September, and about a quarter of the 48 units are already occupied, an indication of the robust demand for modern rental accommodation in the city.

Apple Ridge, together with the Perley Canal Mill apartments at Beacon Street West, opened by Chinburg Properties of Newmarket, represent the first rental properties neither restricted to qualified tenants nor built with subsidized financing to be developed in the city in more than three decades.

"There has been no new product coming onto the market, especially in Laconia," developer Dick Anagnost said, "and the demand for rentals is very strong. That's why I built it."

Built by developer Dick Anagnost of Manchester in partnership with Brady Sullivan Properties, also of Manchester, Apple Ridge is a virtual twin to an adjacent building leased to Lakes Region Community College, which became only the second of the seven community colleges to offer student housing.

While each building houses 48 units, divided among one, two and three bedroom apartments, with nearly identical floor plans, Anagnost said that the apartments at Apple Ridge are fitted with superior amenities. These include stainless steel appliances and polished granite countertops in the kitchen, washers and dryers in each unit, walk-in closets and bamboo plank floors. The units have private decks, along with individual heating and cooling systems. And pets are welcome. The building houses a fitness room with cardio equipment and a conference room for the use of residents..

Apple Ridge has 37 two-bedroom units, renting for $1,175 to $1,200 per month, 10 three-bedroom units renting from $1,275 to $1,300 per month, and one one-bedroom unit renting for $1,050, plus utilities. Anagnost described the rents as "comparable, maybe a little above" the market, but noted the quality of the units exceeds much of the rental inventory in the city.

With Anagnost expecting all the units to be leased by early spring and all 30 units at the Perley Canal Mill are already leased, the two projects stand witness to the demand for rental housing.

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The Apple Ridge apartments in Laconia began leasing in September and are open to all to rent. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)

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