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Members of the Nashua Police Department take the ice-bucket challenge to raise ALS awareness. (Courtesy)

Nashua police doused with ice for good cause

NASHUA — City police officers may not have been nominated for the ice bucket challenge sweeping social media sites this week, but they embraced the freezing-cold water while encouraging other New Hampshire police officers to do the same.

The officers are among many groups and people trying to bring more attention amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

About 35 members of the Nashua Police Patrolman’s Association each received a large orange bucket of ice water on Thursday afternoon, voluntarily dumping it on their heads to raise awareness and money for the ALS Association.

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that slowly leads to death.

“No one has challenged us, but we wanted to take on the initiative,” said Officer Mike Sullivan. After sending out a quick email about the ice-bucket challenge, Sullivan said he received an overwhelming response from Nashua police officers ready to get themselves a little wet for a good cause.

For several of the officers, a little ice water over their heads is nothing compared to the Penguin Plunge conducted each February when they willingly swim in the frigid Atlantic Ocean at Hampton Beach to raise money for Special Olympics in New Hampshire.

“This was bad, but it wasn’t that bad,” said Deputy Police Chief Andrew Lavoie, who dumped ice on his head alongside Police Chief John Seusing.

Prior to completing the challenge, which has collected more than $5 million nationwide from thousands of donors, city police urged other police departments in the Granite State to do the same — specifically challenging the Manchester Police Department, Hudson Police Department and New Hampshire State Police.

Although local police did buy about 200 pounds of ice for the challenge, they also made a donation of $250 to the ALS Association to help raise awareness, assist with research and possibly find a cure.

“This is such a good cause, and this was a great way for us to do the challenge,” said Detective Dan Hodges, who took time from his vacation this week to participate.

Hodges is hopeful that police officers and firefighters across New Hampshire will join in the initiative.

“The challenge has been set,” he said.