WATERVILLE — A rise in crime at pharmacies has prompted Police Chief Joseph Massey to host a workshop to teach pharmacists and others who dispense prescription drugs what to do before, during and after a robbery.

“I’m becoming very concerned that one of those pharmacy robberies is going to lead to serious injury or death to pharmacy staff, customers or even the robber,” Massey said Monday. “We’ve had three recent robberies that made me realize we needed to take a proactive approach to reduce robberies and the likelihood of some injuries during those robberies.”

Massey said hard narcotics are a powerful motivation.

“They’re not asking for anything else except these hard narcotics,” he said. “They’re so focused that all they want is those drugs.”

The goal of the workshop is to help businesses develop ways to help reduce the likelihood of a robbery, and to help protect employees and others if one happens, Massey said.

“I’ve put together a very comprehensive presentation based on not only the pharmacy robberies we’ve experienced locally, but also the ones that have occurred in other jurisdictions surrounding us and across the state,” he said.

The event is not just for pharmacies and medical workers in Waterville, but for any who are interested, he said. Police from other departments may attend.

He said his department does similar presentations, with some variations, for bank workers.

The event will be held from 9-10 a.m. May 31 in the City Council Chambers at The Center, 93 Main St., Waterville. To register, contact Kathleen Kenney-Haley at 680-4704 or [email protected]

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at: [email protected]