The Manchester Police Department hosted a debriefing meeting on Tuesday to review last week’s lock-down of West High. In attendance were Mayor Ted Gatsas and multiple members of the Manchester Police Department, Manchester School District, New Hampshire State Police, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department and Catholic Medical Center. Manchester Police Chief David J. Mara, facilitated the hour long debriefing. The lock-down, which occurred last Thursday, was the direct result of former student Damian Johnson entering the school reportedly with a handgun. It turned out to be a pellet gun. Superintendent Debra Livingston, assistant superintendents Karen Burkush and Dave Ryan, West Principal Christopher Motika and a number of other building level administrators were present so they could learn from the events that unfolded last Thursday. Manchester Police SWAT Team commander, Lieutenant Mark Sanclemente, gave a detailed overview of how and why SWAT activated as quickly as it did. He described the various element leaders of the SWAT team, who alongside many uniformed and plain clothes officers worked safely and methodically throughout the multiple school buildings to ensure a favorable outcome. C M C staff informed the audience that they were prepared to implement their emergency plan in the event anything dire occurred. Chief Mara will be in our house this morning for an exclusive after action interview in the seven o’clock hour.
Not to be left out of all the fun of owning and operating a high school, classes at Bedford’s high school and middle school were canceled yesterday. School was called off shortly after eight o’clock and kids were sent home via the method they came to school. Buses were turned around and parents or kids who drove to school were directed away for the campus. Police say that shortly after six a m, school officials received a warning that several bombs had been placed around the complex that contains both schools. In conjunction with the Bedford Police Department, Superintendent Chip McGee erred on the side of caution, exercising an “abundance of caution” in deciding not to open school. The State Police Bomb Squad arrived on the scene to search the grounds and then the buildings. Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol. Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted in the search. In response to multiple rumors and inquiries, Manchester Police Department spokesman Brian O’Keefe issued a release advising that the Manchester department did not have a bomb squad and therefore was not assisting in the search for explosives. Mutual Aid was called in from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and from police departments in Goffstown, Merrimack and Amherst to cover calls for service, patrol the town and assist with traffic outside the schools’ mutual campus. Classes will resume today at Bedford High and Lurgio Middle School as per usual. All other schools in Bedford yesterday remained open without any interruptions.
Memo to snarky parents in Hooksett who pilloried the city after the West High School lock-down: Manchester isn’t the only community in which fun things like this happen. You might want to consider an apology for the insult you threw to push your Pinkerton position.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Looks like Governess Margaret Wood Hassan has stepped in a bit of a political cow pie. Turns out that nominating a retiring and a retired state senator to sit on the Site Evaluation Committee was so bad a move, she didn’t even bring it up for a vote at yesterday’s meeting of the Governor and Council. Hassan has nominated retiring Senator Bob Odell, Republican from New London and former Senator Amanda Merrill, Democrat from Dover, to sit on the committee that evaluates proposed energy production and transmission facilities, such as Northern Pass. District One Executive Councilor Joe Kenney, Republican from Union, and District Three Executive Councilor Christopher Sununu, Republican from Newfields were vocally critical of the Hassan’s choices with Kenny saying she exercised poor judgment by nominating people whose status as former or soon to be former senators violated the spirit of the law which calls requires representation from members of the public. Sununu said he was disappointed by Hassan’s choice to nominate political friends to the important committee, saying it violated the public trust. Even District Five Councilor Debora Pignatelli, Democrat from Nashua, had publicly questioned the appropriateness of Hassan’s nominees. While Hassan dodged a confirmation vote that she would have lost, she hasn’t yet withdrawn the nominations. G O P gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein, who will be our guest tomorrow morning, called on Hassan to withdraw the politicos from question saying Hassan has ignored the intent of the law with her nominations and should nominate genuinely public candidates.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation will host a public hearing on the proposed widening of Route 1 0 1 tonight in the Bedford High School cafeteria, starting at seven o’clock. This is a big project and hasn’t been without its controversies, so the public’s attendance is being strongly encouraged.
Hey, I’ll bet that all this school stuff in recent days has a lot of you wondering what it might be like to be a police officer. Well, if any of the lock downs, bomb threats, or teachers inappropriately touching students, which happened recently at Pinkerton, has you thinking you want to don a badge and a gun, then attend the Manchester Police Department’s upcoming Law Enforcement Seminar. The purpose of this seminar is to inform potential police candidates about a career in Law Enforcement and what it takes to become a Manchester Police Officer. It will be held on October twentieth in Southern New Hampshire Universities Mara Auditorium, which is on the first floor of Webster Hall. Also on the twentieth, the Manchester Police Department will host a preparation course for the upcoming test one needs to pass to become a police officer. The class is also in the Mara Auditorium on the first floor of Southern New Hampshire University’s Webster Hall and will be hosted by the department’s training unit. The class is free and any questions should be directed to Selection and Recruitment Officer Carlo Accorto at 7 9 2 5 4 5 2. Manchester P D will administer the test on November eighth.
We’ve posted the fliesr with all the details of both events with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!