Aug 14, 2015 5:33 PM

Residents thanking Laconia police day after massive drug sweep, 20 arrests

LACONIA - Just over 24 hours after Laconia Police officers took 20 people into custody for drug-related offenses, city residents are thanking the department for their arresting sweep.

"It hurts. It hurts everyone," said Miki Exford, who has worked in Laconia for years. “All of us have been very upset about this. And it just keeps happening.”

For months now, the fight against addiction in the city has been considered an unwinnable battle.

And as overdoses continue, state leaders have fought for additional funding - but an immediate, trusting cure is unrealistic.

Thursday's drug sweep, which was conducted around 6 a.m., was a 'roundup' of warrants following numerous investigations that took months to complete.

Police said it identified users and sellers - and was intended to hold all accountable.

“What we’re trying to do is see what we can do to get them some resources," Officer Eric Adams said. "Just locking them up isn’t going to help.”

Adams serves as the department's "Prevention, Enforcement and Treatment" officer.

He spends day after day assisting those with drug addictions to find medical treatment and re-stabilize their lives.

It's a unique approach that started in Laconia just last fall - seeking to assist addicts much further than just placing them in handcuffs.

"They’re not alone," Adams said. "There are people in the community, especially in our community that do care.”

15 officers completed Thursday's sweep in about 2 hours.

Authorities said it required undercover investigations and lots of planning ahead of the arrest roundup.

Laconia residents told NH1 News on Friday that they were nothing but supportive of the department's efforts in fighting the city's ongoing drug problem.

“It is so important to do that. And if they don’t, we’re just going to end up with a worse problem," said resident Kathy Welch. "It's scary. Very scary.”

Police said all of the suspects were arrested without incident.

Adams said the department plans on continuing additional sweeps in the future.


--  Dealing with the Disease of Addiction? Click here for help --

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