nick willard

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The chief of police of New Hampshire’s largest city is urging people not to give money to panhandlers.

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard wrote an open letter to the community last week titled "Panhandling - A Community Issue," and it’s stirred a lot of debate.

In the letter, Willard acknowledges panhandlers are within their rights to ask for money, but added that there’s no way to know if they will use it to buy drugs or alcohol.

thisweekinraymond.com

Never one to shy away from weighing in on politics, Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard made his feelings clear in the race for governor this week, backing Democrat Colin Van Ostern.

"As I've gotten to know Colin, I've been impressed by his concern for every community in this state," Willard wrote in post on his personal Facebook page. "He met with me well over a year ago to wrap his head around what we have been experiencing as a community with the drug crisis and he did so long before it became politically expedient."

Twitter.com/ChiefWillard

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard's uninhibited style has landed him in the spotlight recently. He’s been outspoken about the state's opioid crisis and has weighed in on political campaign disputes.

Most recently, he’s taken heat for comments about policing and race. But those who work with Willard say his actions often speak better than his words. 

thisweekinraymond.com

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard says vitriol directed at law enforcement from the White House, politicians, and the media is to blame for putting officers' lives in danger.

Courtesy of the U.S. Senate

After filing to run for Governor, Executive Councilor Chris Sununu told reporters it would be "crazy" to think the state can solve the opioid crisis without spending more money to boost treatment options and increase anti-drug education in schools.

But more than money, Sununu said, New Hampshire needs leadership.

Courtesy of the U.S. Senate

The chief of police in Manchester has been named to a national task force aimed at addressing the opioid and heroin abuse crisis.

Chief Nick Willard is part of a 24-member joint task force announced Tuesday by the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties.

Willard is the only law enforcement member on the task force, which is made up of mayors, commissioners, and other elected officials.

Courtesy of the U.S. Senate

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard joined New Hampshire's two U.S. Senators in Washington Wednesday to testify on a bill aimed at combating the heroin epidemic.

thisweekinraymond.com

Manchester's chief of police is set to testify this week on Capitol Hill about New Hampshire's opioid epidemic.   

Heroin
Courtesy of MPD

Officials in Manchester are calling for new efforts and better coordination against heroin abuse.

The city held a “Stop the Circle Rally” Saturday in Veterans Memorial Park.

Mayor Ted Gatsas told the crowd that he and other city officials met with the heads of area hospitals to find ways to work together against drug abuse.

thisweekinraymond.com

The city of Manchester could soon have a new police chief.

The Union Leader reports Mayor Ted Gatsas has nominated Assistant Police Chief Nick Willard to lead the department.

If aldermen approve the nomination, Willard would replace Chief David Mara, who announced earlier this month that he will retire at the end of June.

If he gets the job, Willard has already agreed to move to the city within 180 days.