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Laconia Police Stages Active Shooter Training at Middle School

Sam Evans-Brown


The Laconia Police Department is conducting an active shooter exercise Saturday at Laconia Middle School.

New Hampshire police run these exercises regularly, but this one is meant to train officers from departments throughout Belknap County.

Police Chief Matthew Canfield says, when incidents occur in a rural state, it's critical to coordinate multiple departments.

"We don't any major cities in New Hampshire," he says, "So not one department in the state can actually handle a full-scale active shooter event. If you look at Florida in Parkland, the school shooting that happened down there, you're talking about 500 officers that responded to that scene."

Canfield says the training is meant to ready officers for a rapid response:


"An active shooter event is usually over in 6 to 7 minutes, so the sooner we get in there, the sooner we press the suspect, the sooner that it's gonna end."


The training will cost about $50,000. It's funded by the New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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