PSU Officer Among Three Local Law Enforcement Professionals Honored by Plymouth Select Board

August 26th, 2008 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-The town of Plymouth’s Board of Selectmen has awarded a commendation to three local law enforcement professionals, including a Plymouth State University police officer, for their role in subduing a potentially violent armed man.

Bill Melanson, a Plymouth State University police officer was on duty Saturday morning, July 12, when a call came in from Plymouth Town Police Officer Elizabeth Scrafford asking for assistance in dealing with an agitated man in Plymouth. Melanson, a law enforcement veteran who served 20 years with the Suffolk County (Mass.) Sheriffs Department, raced to the scene along with Ashland Police Chief Don Marren.

Scrafford and Melanson arrived at the scene first and realized the distraught man was armed with a handgun.

“He was ranting and raving, flailing his arms up and down, and then he pointed the weapon in our direction,” said Melanson. “We drew our weapons and shouted at him to put down the weapon, and he finally put it down on a table on his porch. Chief Marren was on the scene by then, and made his way around in back of the porch and started talking to the man.”

Marren managed to distract the man long enough for Melanson to grab the gun, allowing Marren and Scrafford to subdue the man, quickly ending the intense incident.

In awarding the commendations to the three officers involved, Plymouth Police Chief Steve Temperino noted the group handled the volatile situation with skill and professionalism.

“The effective use of tactical procedures, verbal communication and restraint all culminated in a peaceful resolution to a potentially lethal conflict,” Temperino said.

“It may sound trite, but it is part of the job, however, it made the job real to me, realizing that anybody could have a gun at anytime, and if it had gone off we would have a whole different scenario, so I’m really happy nobody got hurt,” Melanson said.

Melanson is currently undergoing training at the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council in Concord, where he hopes to gain full-time police officer certification by mid-November and rejoin the PSU Police Department.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes