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The December class day for Leadership Greater Nashua highlighted the criminal justice system and public safety. This was a well-rounded day full of interesting and informative panelists.
The day began with a presentation by Nashua Police Chief, Michael Carignan. Chief Carignan discussed several divisions of the Nashua Police Department, including SWAT, the Dive Team, and the Bomb Team. He also explained recruitment, the intensive interview process, and the training of new police officers. Our nationally accredited police department has built relationships with several resources in the greater Nashua area to help provide the best service for the population it protects.
Nashua Fire Chief, Brian Rhodes, spoke about the seven firehouses in the city, as well as the training building next to the Nashua Landfill. He explained that fireboxes route through the local fire communications building on Lake Street, and all 911 calls go through Concord. The fire department also has a Dive Team; Chief Rhodes explained that the Fire Department’s Dive Team is deployed for rescues, and the Police Department’s Dive Team is deployed for recoveries.
Elyse Butterworth, the Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Nashua, explained the importance of having a local Office of Emergency Management (OEM). When there is a state of emergency, state and federal OEMs need to focus on the big picture – the 234 municipalities in New Hampshire. The Nashua OEM focuses on local needs. It is the responsibility of the OEM to identify hazards, assess risks, analyze potential consequences, and develop a plan of action to prevent or minimize the fall-out.
We ended our day with Nellie Chancey (probation/parole officer), Amanda Steenhuis (public defender), and Brett Harpster (prosecutor) to discuss Drug Court and the Justice System. It takes the coordination and cooperation of the police department, parole officers, attorneys (defense and prosecution), judges, social workers, and recovery coaches for Drug Court to work. When appropriate, a candidate will be sent to Drug Court. The intention is to deal with the root cause, such as addiction or mental health issues. It takes 300 hours of treatment to begin to impact the issues. Of the individuals who complete Drug Court, 78% will not re-offend.
As a lifelong resident of the greater Nashua area, I thought I knew a lot about this region. With each class, I discover there is so much more to learn. There is a lot we take for granted. This experience has taught me to look deeper – don’t be satisfied that you have all the information until you have done your due diligence. I look forward to the rest of this journey with my wonderful classmates. Thank you.
Brenda Bariteau, Senior Employee Experience Coordinator, St Joseph Hospital, Leadership Greater Nashua class of 2021