By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — The city has seen a recent spike in the number of heroin overdoses over the past two weeks, Police Chief Chris Adams told the Police Commission this week. With five suspected deaths, he said the number of overdoses so far in the city is at 55 for the year.
In response to a question from Commissioner Thomas Tarr, Adams said the state lab is overburdened with possible heroin/ fentanyl overdoses that, in some cases, autopsies are not being performed on all potential victims.
He said even with the additional money from the recently passed biennial budget, the lab is still overwhelmed.
Lt. Detective Thomas Swett said the city will be getting four traffic grants, including two annual repeating awards for DWI patrols and community patrolling. He said there are two new awards for a 50/50 equipment grant and a distracted driver grant that will be primarily targeting people using electronic devices.
Also at the meeting, Adams thanked the many people who have sent support letters, texts, emails and cards to the department and its officers in the wake of the police shootings in Dallas, Texas.
He said that while it is a troubling time for the men and women in law enforcement, he and employees were really overwhelmed with the support they have seen locally.
"One little boy named Oscar brought us Gatorade," he said, adding that it is important to him and his entire staff to enjoy such community support.
Adams said the department is still planning on equipping officer with body cameras and said his department would be seeking grants after they compete their certification review.
When asked, he said they are part of the five-year strategic plan and that he considers them worthy of a annual budget request. No final decision have been made by the commission as to body cameras or their funding.
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