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Domestic & Sexual Violence

Department Philosophy

We believe no one deserves to be abused or physically assaulted. The Officers of this Department pride themselves in doing everything in their power to combat physical and sexual abuse. All Officers understand that the citizens of Southwick and visitors of our community have a right to live and visit without fear, abuse, oppression and violence. A key ingredient to the success of our philosophy hinges on the belief that all violators be brought to justice for their actions. We are committed to creating and maintaining a safe community where offenses of this type are not tolerated.

Chief Dave Ricardi

2015 July 4th Message from the Chief……..

 

Fireworks Laws

The 4th of July Holiday is less than 2 weeks away. This is a holiday that traditional brings about the illegal use of fireworks throughout our Community. Our Officers will be enforcing the laws where possible. Our main focus is to make sure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday.

The laws and penalties pertaining to the illegal use and possession of fireworks have been provided below.

Chapter 148, Section 35 Possession of Bombs and Explosives

• No person shall have in his/her possession or under his/her control any bomb or other high explosive, as defined by the rules and regulations made under Section nine (9), contrary to the provisions of this chapter or any rules or regulation made thereunder.

• Penalty is a Misdemeanor. Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment for not more than two and one half years, or both, and any bomb or explosive found in his/her possession or under his/her control on such violation shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth.

Chapter 148, Section 39 Illegal Possession and Exploding of Fireworks

• No person shall sell, or keep or offer for sale, or have in his/her possession, or under his/her control, or use, or explode, or cause to explode, any combustible or explosive composition or substance, or any combination of such compositions or substances, or any other article, which was prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation.

• Fireworks Includes: For the purpose of this section the word “Fireworks” shall include compositions, substances or other articles and shall also include blank cartridges or toy cannons in which explosives are used, the type of toy balloon which requires fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, cherry bombs, silver salutes, M-80’s torpedoes, sky-rockets, Roman candles, sparklers, rockets, wheels, colored fires, fountains, mines, serpents, or other fireworks of like construction or any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance.

• Fireworks DOES NOT Include: The term “fireworks” as used shall not include toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper caps or plastic caps containing twenty-five hundredths grains or less of explosive compound are used, if they are so constructed that the hand cannot come in contact with the cap when in place for the explosion, or toy pistol paper caps or plastic caps which contain less than twenty hundredths grains of explosive mixture, the sale and use of which shall be permitted at all times; and provided, further, that this section does not apply:

• Penalty is a Misdemeanor. Whoever shall sell or keep for sale or offer for sale any fireworks in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1000) or by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year or both.

• Penalty is a Misdemeanor. Whoever shall have in his/her possession or under his/her control, or whoever shall use or explode or cause to explode any fireworks in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100).

• The mere possession of fireworks is a non-arrestable misdemeanor. An Officer may seize the fireworks (since they are contraband) and later seek complaints. This does not mean that in extreme cases Officers are precluded from using other charges such as disorderly or disturbing the peace.

• Note on Seizure: Any Officer qualified to serve criminal process shall seize all of the fireworks mentioned herein without a warrant, and the fireworks seized shall, upon conviction of such violation, be forfeited to the Commonwealth.

• Notice of Seizure: Notice of such seizure of the fireworks shall immediately be sent to the Fire Marshal by the Officer making the seizure, and the fireworks seized shall be held and securely stored by the Department until the Fire Marshal or his authorized representative takes them into his/her possession for disposal.

• Fireworks DOES NOT Include: The term “fireworks” as used shall not include toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper caps or plastic caps containing twenty-five hundredths grains or less of explosive compound are used, if they are so constructed that the hand cannot come in contact with the cap when in place for the explosion, or toy pistol paper caps or plastic caps which contain less than twenty hundredths grains of explosive mixture, the sale and use of which shall be permitted at all times; and provided, further, that this section does not apply:

• To the sale of any fireworks to be shipped directly out of the Commonwealth, or

• To the sale of any such article for the use of, and its use by, persons having obtained a permit for a supervised display of such fireworks from the Fire Marshall or some Officer designated by him/her therefore, under any provision of section thirty-nine A, or

• To the sale of flares, lanterns or fireworks for the use of and their use by, railroads, railways, boats, motor vehicles or other transportation agencies, or other activity, lawfully permitted or required to use any or all of such articles for signal purposes, illumination or otherwise, or

• To the sale or use of blank cartridges for a duly licensed show or theatre or for signal or ceremonial purposes in athletics or sports, or to the sale of special blank cartridges and their use in the proper operation of industrial tools and equipment only, or

• To experiments at a factory, for explosives, or

• To the sale of blank cartridges for the use of, or their use by, the militia or any organization of war veterans or other organizations authorized by law to parade in public, a color guard armed with firearms, or

• In teaching the use of firearms by experts, or

• To the sale of shells for firearms, cartridges, gunpowder, and for the purposes of using, and their use, or in connection with the hunting of game or in target practice with firearms, or

• To farmers and fruit growers who, having obtained a permit under section thirteen of chapter forty-eight, sue firecrackers for control of damage to their corps by birds

Have a Safe Holiday

Chief Dave Ricardi

18th Citizen Police Academy Class Graduates

18th Citizen Police Academy Class Graduates

Congratulations to all of the members of our 18th Citizen Police Academy class who graduated on Monday evening, May 5, 2015 after participating in the eight week program. The graduates now having a better understanding of what it takes to be a Police Officer as well as learning what takes place from the time a call is placed to the time that a report is written. The graduates were able to get a firsthand experience as to how hard all of members of this Department work to keep the entire Town of Southwick safe and provide its citizens and quests with a better quality of life. We are satisfied that the recent graduates now have accurate knowledge pertaining to all of the responsibilities and functions that go into protecting the citizens of this community. At the end of the eight week program the graduates had learned that the members of this Department are committed in changing any preconceived notions facing Law Enforcement today by utilizing the best tool at our disposal. The tool we so often reply on is “Education.” So that is why the Citizen Police Academy program is so important to this Department and the community.
Chief Dave Ricardi

K-9 UNIT RECEIVES AWARD…..

K-9 Ofc. Thomas Krutka and K-9 "Jax"

K-9 Ofc. Thomas Krutka and K-9 "Jax"
K-9 Ofc. Thomas Krutka and K-9 “Jax”
We at the Southwick Police Department are pleased to announce that the “Massachusetts Police Work Dog Association” honored our K-9 team with a prestigious award at their annual training conference this week at the Westover Air Force facility. Officer Thomas L. Krutka and his K-9 partner, Jax, were recognized as being the “Narcotic Detection Team of the Year” for 2014.
This award was related to a search warrant that was executed in Agawam on October 17, 2014, at a local storage area, by Officers from the Agawam Police Department and Agents from the DEA and Eastern Hampden County Narcotic Task Force. As a result 119 pounds of Marijuana and 1.2 million dollars in U.S. currency were seized.

Chief Dave Ricardi

SCAM ALERT ……

scam-alert

SCAM ALERT

We received information today that an individual who identifies himself as “Kevin Hardin” from the Southwick Police Department is asking those he calls for a donation for either the Police Department or Police Association.

The Southwick Police Department does NOT employ anyone by that name nor is the Department or Police Association soliciting for donations from our citizens.

Chief Dave Ricardi

IRS SCAM & “Swatting” Incident

IRS SCAM & “Swatting” Incident

Our Department has received a few complaints from citizens who have received telephone calls from an individual who portrays to be an IRS Agent. If you receive a call from such an individual you should immediately hang-up. DO NOT get involved in a conversation with this individual who will most likely have a middle-eastern accent. We can assure you that a call of this nature is NOT from the IRS.

I am going to give you an example of what normally takes place in this type of scam, which is commonly known as an IRS SCAM. The following incident took place in a community to the Northwest of Southwick. A couple of days ago a family received calls to their cell phones and home phone from a man with a middle-eastern accent claiming to be “Jack Cooper” from the IRS. After hours on the phone in which Mr. Cooper was able to give the female member of the family details of the family and recent loan information, Mr. Cooper convinced her that she owed $9,750 to the IRS and needed to pay them now. The female party collected $2,500 from ATM machines and when she was told to Fed Ex the money using their bill pay method to jack.cooper.irs@gmail.com she then hung up because she knew the IRS would not have a gmail account. The female party then received a “Spoof” call showing the local Police Department business number on her caller ID. After not answering she then received a “Spoof” call showing the Michigan State Police.

The incident then became what is known as “SWATTING” which is a trending prank that results in an escalated Police response to a residence or business. In this case it was called in as a domestic argument involving a knife. The male caller was reporting that he was locked in the bathroom and his wife was trying to kill him with a knife. The responding Officers and Dispatcher figured out something was not right and quickly assessed they were not dealing with a domestic argument only because the actual husband called a short time earlier reporting a possible IRS SCAM. The second caller was reported to be the same male now had a middle-eastern accent making the Dispatcher question the validity. While Police were still at the residence the male, likely “Jack Cooper”, was on the phone with the local Police Department Dispatcher still pretending to be the husband locked in the bathroom confirming this was a prank in relation to the IRS SCAM. The local Police Officer attempted to preserve the gmail account without success.

Calls like the one I have described on happening on a daily basis throughout Western Massachusetts. The best rule of thumb to remember is the IRS will not call you via the phone if they have an issue with you.

Please share this information with your family and friends. In the event you do receive an IRS SCAM notify your local Police Department.

Best Regards,

Chief Dave Ricardi

Our Department has received a few complaints from citizens who have received telephone calls from an individual who portrays to be an IRS Agent. If you receive a call from such an individual you should immediately hang-up. DO NOT get involved in a conversation with this individual who will most likely have a middle-eastern accent. We can assure you that a call of this nature is NOT from the IRS.

I am going to give you an example of what normally takes place in this type of scam, which is commonly known as an IRS SCAM. The following incident took place in a community to the Northwest of Southwick. A couple of days ago a family received calls to their cell phones and home phone from a man with a middle-eastern accent claiming to be “Jack Cooper” from the IRS. After hours on the phone in which Mr. Cooper was able to give the female member of the family details of the family and recent loan information, Mr. Cooper convinced her that she owed $9,750 to the IRS and needed to pay them now. The female party collected $2,500 from ATM machines and when she was told to Fed Ex the money using their bill pay method to jack.cooper.irs@gmail.com she then hung up because she knew the IRS would not have a gmail account. The female party then received a “Spoof” call showing the local Police Department business number on her caller ID. After not answering she then received a “Spoof” call showing the Michigan State Police.

The incident then became what is known as “SWATTING” which is a trending prank that results in an escalated Police response to a residence or business. In this case it was called in as a domestic argument involving a knife. The male caller was reporting that he was locked in the bathroom and his wife was trying to kill him with a knife. The responding Officers and Dispatcher figured out something was not right and quickly assessed they were not dealing with a domestic argument only because the actual husband called a short time earlier reporting a possible IRS SCAM. The second caller was reported to be the same male now had a middle-eastern accent making the Dispatcher question the validity. While Police were still at the residence the male, likely “Jack Cooper”, was on the phone with the local Police Department Dispatcher still pretending to be the husband locked in the bathroom confirming this was a prank in relation to the IRS SCAM. The local Police Officer attempted to preserve the gmail account without success.

Calls like the one I have described on happening on a daily basis throughout Western Massachusetts. The best rule of thumb to remember is the IRS will not call you via the phone if they have an issue with you.

Please share this information with your family and friends. In the event you do receive an IRS SCAM notify your local Police Department.

Best Regards,

Chief Dave Ricardi

Police Department Receives Gifts from Local Youth Group

I was touched and honored, on Tuesday evening, to accept on behalf of the members of the Southwick Police Department, some generous gifts from MidKids Youth Group from the Southwick Community Episcopal Church. I was truly moved that a group of upstanding young citizens selflessly took their time to think of our Department and raise money to purchase items that they thought we may need and/or enjoy. I have no doubts that everyone here at the Police Department will enjoy the coffee, teas, hot cocoa, trail mix, protein bars, nuts and baked goods.

In this day and age when our television screens and newspapers are inundated with what seems to be a never-ending stream of negative stories, it was heartwarming to encounter young people committed to make a positive impact in their community in any way they can.

I extend to the entire MidKids Youth Group and advisers our most sincere thanks, appreciation and admiration. It is my hope that you will all continue on this positive path that you have set up, strengthening not only yourselves and your group, but our community as well.

Best Regards,

Chief Dave Ricardi

PUBLIC SAFETY NOTICE…!!!!!

snow%20superheat%20mailbox

As we are all aware we have built up a substantial amount of snow over the past few snowstorms. The end of snow accumulation doesn’t appear to be in sight yet so members of Southwick Police and Fire Departments are asking for your help.
As we all know, in an emergency, Police and Fire personnel depend on house numbers to locate you as quick as possible. Under normal conditions finding your home especially at night can be challenging if the address numbers are unreadable, hidden, unlighted or have missing numbers. With the amount of snow we have received as of late locating certain houses has made this task more difficult. We have found the snow is blocking the numbers on many mailboxes. So with that being said we are requesting that you assist us by clearing the snow away from your mailbox so we can read the numbers. If you don’t have numbers on your mailbox we ask that you ensure that your house numbers are visible.

Snow Related Town By-Laws and Enforcement Fines

Snow Related Town By-Laws and Enforcement Fines

Topic: Education and Enforcement of Town By-Laws related to snow removal and Winter Recreational vehicles, etc.

Summary: The snow is on the horizon and in-turn so will the citizen complaints

pertaining to a number of issues related to snow removal and winter recreation. This “training bulletin” will serve as a guide and education tool for the Officers to use when dealing with those issues and complaints. Below you will find some of the Town by-laws that were adopted by the Town in-order to address snow removal and winter recreation issues. If the Officer chooses to issue an infraction it can be written on a Town of Southwick Notice of Violation of Town By-Law or Regulation ticket.

Chapter 157, Streets and Sidewalks

Article II – Snow and Ice Removal

Chapter 157, Section 4: Residents on property or owners of property abutting the sidewalks within the Town, which now is or may hereafter be established or set apart as such, shall clear said sidewalk of ice and snow within twenty-four (24) hours after the snow ceases to fall. Should said sidewalk become covered with ice that cannot be readily removed, the said abutter or residents shall be required to place sand or some other suitable substance thereon within twenty-four (24) hours after such said side walk shall have become so encumbered to render said walk unsafe for pedestrians.

Fine: $ 25.00

Chapter 157, Section 5: No Person shall plow or cause to be plowed, snow or ice from private property into or onto a public way.

Fine: $ 25.00

Chapter 75, Boats and Other Recreational Vehicles

Article II – Winter Recreational Vehicles

Chapter 75, Section 12: No person shall operate or abandon a motor vehicle on the ice of the Congamond Lakes except for the purpose of plowing.

Fine: $ 50.00

Chapter 75, Section 13: Winter recreational vehicles and ice boats may be operated from December 1st to March 1st , from sunrise to 11 P.M..

Fine: $ 50.00

Chapter 75, Section 14: No person shall operate a winter recreational vehicle or ice boat on the ice having a thickness of less than six (6) inches.

Fine: $ 50.00

Chapter 75, Section 15: No person shall operate winter recreational vehicles or snow vehicles on the Congamond Lakes, within one hundred & fifty (150) feet of an occupied residence without permission of the owner or when directly departing from or returning to such residence.

Fine: $ 50.00

Chapter 75, Section 16: No recovery or salvage operation shall be authorized except under the expressed approval of the Police Department and under their direction and control.

Fine: $ 50.00

____________________________________________________________________________________

Chapter 172, Vehicles and Traffic

Article II – Parking

Chapter 172, Section 6: Any vehicle located or parked within the limits of any way in the Town of Southwick which is interfering with the prompt and orderly removal or plowing of snow or the removal of ice from said way may be removed or caused to be removed by the Superintendent of Streets at the sole expense of the owner of said vehicle to some convenient place, including a public garage, by means or towing or otherwise. Before the owner shall be permitted to remove a vehicle which has been towed or removed, he must:

(A). Furnish satisfactory evidence to the Superintendent of Streets, or any

other person in charge of place or public garage, of his identity and ownership.

(B). Pay all charges for towing or removing said car and all storage

charges, if any,

(C). Sign a written receipt acknowledging delivery of said vehicle.

Fine: $ 25.00

Chapter 172, Section 7: If any vehicle found upon and street or highway in violation of any provisions of this Article or its location is deemed to be a hazard to the flow of traffic of such street or highway, it shall be moved under the direction of a Police Officer, and the person in whose name such vehicle is registered shall be held prima facie responsible for such violation.

Fine: $ 25.00

Chief Dave Ricardi

Season Greeting Message

Season's Greetings To All!!
Season’s Greetings To All!!

Season Greeting Message

All of the members of the Southwick Police Department and I would like to wish the citizens of Southwick and our visitors a Happy and Safe Holiday Season. We wish you good health and happiness in the upcoming year.

Chief Dave Ricardi

David Ricardi
Chief of Police