To The Daily Sun,
I am seeking re-election to the Laconia Police Commission, a position that I have held for the past seven years. As longtime Laconia citizen of 72 years, raised in a blue collar family, I have watched the City of Laconia, change over the years from a, "go to bed a night with your doors unlocked and windows open" community, to a community (like all others), where caution, increased awareness and constant vigilance and locked doors have become the norm.
As a long-time employee of the Laconia School District, in a variety of positions, I have experienced first-hand the impact of societal changes on the youth of Laconia. In the 1980s, the school census was conducted door to door, and I spent countless hours in the various neighborhoods of Laconia. I know the city and I am fortunate to know many of the residents, having had you, your children (and even your grandchildren) over my time in the Laconia schools. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the Laconia Police Commission for the past seven plus years.
The current commission supported the process that led to the National Certification of the Police Department, negotiated contracts with the department personnel, maintained oversight of the realistic departmental budgets, and supported many initiatives and programs that have gained state and national recognition, such as the PET program and the Department Fitness Program.
The past few years have seen the horrific effects of the impact that the influx of drugs has had and continues to have on our community, state and nation. The Laconia Police Department has been very aggressive in it its efforts to address this issue. Its PET program has been recognized statewide and nationally for its impact and creative approach to the drug issue.
There are four people running for two open positions on the Police Commission, of which I am one. I have already expressed my desire to be re-elected. As I looked at the other three candidates, none of who I personally know, one of them stood out and really piqued my interest — Mr. Tom Tarr, who has an extensive background with community corrections, protection to the citizens of New Hampshire, assisting in the fair administration of justice and experience in the issues of drugs and addiction.
In doing some research on Mr. Tarr, I was impressed with what I discovered. By his own words, as stated in his letter of intent to run for the police commission, his "experience at both the state and federal has afforded me a broad understanding and deep appreciation of the challenges of New Hampshire law enforcement at the local, county, state and federal levels." In reviewing the District of New Hampshire U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office 2010 Annual Report, I discovered that Mr. Tarr's experiences, "have included oversight of Administrative Services; management; coordination with other personnel; court investigation; pre-trial services; pilot drug court; pre-trial diversion and supervision; and post conviction-supervision," just to name a few.
Mr. Tarr was a strong supporter of a program that had a multi-phased approach to dealing with drug addicts that would create a "law abiding, sober, employed individual engaging in pro-social behaviors with stable housing, addressing their financial and family responsibilities."
As a 40 year "veteran" of dealing with state and federal regulations, Mr. Tarr is experienced in the many restrictions within which law enforcement functions. He understands the limited authority of the Police Commission, yet he is willing to give his time and his expertise to benefit the community.
I encourage citizens to vote for Tom Tarr for the Laconia Police Commission.
I would appreciate your vote also.