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ANNUAL FIREWORKS DISPALY…….

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On Friday July 25th, Southwick will have the Town’s annual fireworks display, set to go off at approximate 9:15 pm. The fireworks will be set off from Whalley Park and can be viewed from the surrounding school fields. There is a considerable amount of construction in and around the area, so please use caution.
The Southwick Police Department will have numerous officers in the area to assist with traffic and parking. We ask that everyone be patient and considerate to others during this brief delay. Thank you and enjoy the fireworks!!!

“MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF”

Fireworks Laws

 

The 4th of July Holiday is quickly approaching us. This is a holiday that traditional brings about the illegal use of fireworks throughout the Town. Our Officers will be enforcing the laws where possible. Our main focus is to make sure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday.

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 M Whoever violated 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 M 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 M 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

Chief Dave Ricardi

SCAM ALERT…SCAM ALERT……

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SCAM ALERT…..SCAM ALERT……There has been several reports of phone scams in town as well as other surrounding areas. The calling party is stating that your family member has been in a car accident and money is needed immediately for treatment. There has also been calls stating that a member of your family, whether it be a niece, nephew, grandchild, son or daughter, is on vacation in the calling party’s area and, has been arrested and needs bail money immediately. DO NOT SEND MONEY OR PROVIDE ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION!!!!

These are scams. Hospitals do not solicit money before treating a subject that is in their Emergency room. DO NOT SEND MONEY! If a person has been arrested, that person would be calling you for bail money, not the police or any other law enforcement official where said subject was arrested, DO NOT SEND MONEY!!!

If you receive any calls similar to the ones described above, call you local police department and they will assist you.

Calls for Service involving Wildlife…..

As of 06/01/2014, the Town of Southwick Animal Control Officer(s) can not and will not handle calls for service regarding routine wildlife complaints in or at a residence or business within the borders of the Town.

· Our State laws prohibit the removal or relocation of wildlife. Our Animal Control Officer(s) can dispose of wildlife providing it is suspicious of having rabies and posing a threat to life.

· In the event there is a wildlife issue at a residence or business and it poses a threat to life or danger of serious injury to the public or animals or any situation that is a threat to public safety a Southwick Animal Control Officer will be dispatched to the problem location to assist.

· Our Emergency Tele-Communications Dispatchers will evaluate the information provided by the complainant to establish if an Animal Control Officer will be sent out to assist.

· Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 131, section 37, gives property owners the right to use lawful means to destroy wildlife in the act of causing damage or threatening personal safety. Landowners may only destroy wildlife actually causing damage or posing immediate threats. No one may randomly destroy wildlife simply because it is on their property. It is also illegal for anyone (Including Problem Animal Control agents) to live trap a problem animal and move it or release on other public or private property.

If the property owner cannot resolve a wildlife problem on his or her own, the property owner may contract with a licensed Problem Animal Control Agent (PAC). PAC agents act on behalf of the landowner and are constrained by the same regulations regarding capture, release, transport and euthanasia (e.g. animals captured by PAC agents may not relocate elsewhere). Fees may be charged for PAC services. When a property owner calls on a PAC agent, it is expected that the agent will also provide information and suggestions which prevent future wildlife problems.

PAC licenses are issued to individuals, not to groups or companies. Licensed PAC agents are the only individuals who may work with problem wildlife. PAC agents are not municipal Animal Control Officers, though Animal Control Officers are allowed to have a PAC license. Unless otherwise licensed as PAC agents, municipal Animal Control Officers may not legally handle wildlife unless the animals are sick or injured or present a threat to public health or safety.

· PAC agents may harass, take, and destroy, or may release or liberate on site as stipulated in 321 CMR 2.14 (23) non-domesticated reptiles, birds, and mammals the actions of which have or are endangering the life and health of humans or domestic animals; damaging the property of a person, obstructing the reasonable and comfortable use of property by the owner or tenant thereof or otherwise producing such material annoyance, inconvenience, and discomfort that can reasonably be presumed to result in damage or harm to persons or their property.

· PAC agents may legally handle the following species: skunk, muskrat, raccoon, weasel, red fox, gray fox, porcupine, Norway rat, mice, voles, red, grey and flying squirrel, opossum, chipmunk, rabbit, woodchuck, snapping turtles, moles, pigeon, house sparrow, starling and certain species of bats.

· Coyotes may be handled only by licensed PAC agents who have successfully completed a Massachusetts Wildlife training and certification program specifically pertaining to coyotes.

· It is strongly recommended that you not confront nuisance wildlife and to call a pest control agent to address your problem.

· If you are in need of assistance with nuisance wildlife the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife maintains a vast amount of materials which address various aspects of how to deal with wildlife and the conflicts which may occur. Their website which can be found my going to www.MA.Gov and searching for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. One on the site you will have an opportunity to review topics such as: “Wildlife in Your Home, Yard, or Neighborhood”, “Living with Wildlife”, Preventing Conflicts with Wildlife and “General Tips of Preventing Wildlife Conflicts.” You will also be able to find a list of PAC agents for the Western District.

Thank-you in Advance for your Understanding & Cooperation

Dave Ricardi – Chief of Police

SOUTHWICK POLICE ASSOCIATION FUNDRAISER……..

Tickets are available by calling Chief Ricardi or Lt. Bishop at the Southwick Police Department…..413-569-5348.
Pre-purchase of your ticket is encouraged so we may have an accurate count so enough food can be ordered…Thank You!!!

SOUTHWICK POLICE ASSOCIATION- FUNDRAISER EVENT

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The members of the Southwick Police Association have rallied in an effort to organize a fundraiser for a family who lost their belongings in a Mother’s Day fire on Feeding Hills Road here in the Town of Southwick. As we know, Mother’s Day should be a happy event that brings pleasant memories for the years to come. That will not be the case for the young mother of this household, who happens to be Caissy Cross-Price, the daughter of Retired Sergeant Rick Cross. The family of 5 have been displaced from their home as a result of this unfortunate fire so the members of the Police Association are hoping that the revenues from the fundraiser will assist the family in rebuilding their lives.

The Association appreciates any support that the community can provide.

When: Friday May 30, 2014

Location: American Legion, 46 Powder Mill Road, Southwick, MA

Social Hour: 5:30 to 6:30 P.M.

Dinner: 6:30 to 7:30 P.M. – Picnic Style – Hamburgs, Hot Dogs, Salads, etc.

Music & Raffles: 7:30 to 11 P.M.

Cost: $20.00 per person. / Children under 12 will be $10.00

Tickets can be purchased at the Police Department or by calling:

Lt. Kevin Bishop at 569-5348 ext 604

Chief Dave Ricardi at 569-5348 ext. 606

ANIMAL SHELTER VOLUNTEERS NEEDED……

Polverari / Southwick

Animal Control Facility

Volunteers Needed

Do you love working and being with animals? Walking dogs? Caring for cats? Interacting with the public? Helping with an adoption process?

If you do have as little as two (2) hours per week available in your busy schedule we would love have you on our team. We offer a very flexible volunteering schedule because our animals need care every day of the week. You will find that Volunteering is a great way to contribute to our community, meet other animal lovers, and feel better about yourself.

So if you have some free time, stop into the Polverari-Southwick Animal Shelter during our public hours and ask to fill-out a volunteer application. All applicants with go through a standard background check prior to working at our shelter. Once the background check is completed, a volunteer coordinator will contact you to setup an initial interview and develop a schedule that will not only meet the needs of the shelter but will coincide with the hours you have available.

Due to liability concerns all volunteers who work at the Animal Shelter must be at least 18 years old.

We look forward to having you submit an application. As always your help no matter how little or how large is greatly appreciated.

Thank-you

Chief Dave Ricardi

16th CITIZEN’S POLICE ACADEMY GRADUATES……

Congratulations to the graduates from our 16th Citizen Police Academy Class. We would like to thank the graduates for their participation, interest, and the enthusiasm they had in this program. It is refreshing to know that the graduates now have a better understanding about their Police Department and how hard the members of the Department work to keep the community safe and provide the citizens with a better quality of life.
I have found that the best part of any Citizen Police Academy graduation ceremony is the speeches which are made by a number of the graduates. Those giving the speeches cast away any fears they have about speaking before a crowd and convey what the program meant to them with little or no difficulties. The speeches can be humorous and informative but more importantly they truly reflect that the program is a huge success as it has established an open a line of communications between the graduates and their Police Department. Since it is important that our citizens be well informed I would at this time like to announce that our current Board of Selectmen and our current Finance Committee have agreed to at our upcoming Town Meeting support the funding needed to maintain this program in fiscal year 15. It is nice to see that others recognize the importance of this program to our community. Again, congratulations to graduates of this class and all of the previous classes.

A Special Thanks goes out to the graduates who collectively made a generous donation to the Citizen Police Academy program. This donation will be used to help fund the Citizen Police Academy programs in the future. Thank-you

Chief Dave Ricardi

CITIZENS AND OFFICERS RECOGNIZED……

On April 1, 2014 at approximately 10:45 pm, 22 year old John Grunwald fell asleep at the wheel after an extra long day at work. John’s vehicle traveled across Mort Vining Rd in which he was traveling, and struck a tree. John was ejected through the windshield and was lying next to said vehicle as it burst into flames. Two citizens that were enjoying a relaxing evening at home with their families heard the crash. Both Bradford Emmelmann and Sean Langan ran out and observed John who was nearly unconscious, next to the burning vehicle. The two dragged him from the vehicle and provided any care they could until help arrived.
A short time later, Officers Westcott, Taggart and Massai arrived on scene. Officers Westcott and Massai tended to the young man’s severe facial injuries. Officer Westcott stated that the facial injuries were severe and this subject was bleeding profusely. Officer Westcott who is the department’s medical training officer, used everything in his med kit to control the bleeding. The wounds were wrapped and packed in attempted to control the bleeding until Southwick Fire Department’s Ambulance arrived. Emt’s Michael Ferraraccio and John Whackerbath joined the fight to save this young man’s life. The young man was then transported to Bay State Medical Center with the assistance of an ALS Unit from the Westfield Fire Department. This life saving event was a total team effort!
If it wasn’t for the Langan and Emmelmann pulling this John away from the burning vehicle and, Officers Westcott and Massai controlling the vast amount of blood loss, it was more than probable that this young man would not have survived this accident.
Chief of Police David A. Ricardi presented the two citizens with an “Outstanding Citizen Award” for their Uncommon Courage, Bravery and Self-Sacrifice they exhibited and, a “Life Saving Award” to Officers Westcott and Massai for their extraordinary life saving efforts they provided in helping a citizen in need.
John Grunwald and his family were present at the ceremony to thank all involved first hand. John’s father, Tom Grunwald read a very heartwarming thank you to all involved, expressing his and his wife’s sincere gratitude to all that helped in the efforts to save their son’s life.
Congratulations to Brad Emmelmann, Sean Langan, and to Officers Mike Westcott and Dave Massai on a job they can be very proud of!!!

MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF……..

 

Southwick Public Safety Services Day Huge Success

 

            The first Southwick Public Safety Services Day was without a doubt a huge success.  I would personally like to thank all of the citizens and their families for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us for this special event.  Based on the smiles and expressions I saw on the children’s faces I know that they had a great deal of fun.  It was fascinating to see the confusion the event brought to our younger citizens.  They had a hard time deciding if they should go see the Police Car or the Fire Truck first.  Then there was the toughest decision of all, “Do I go see Officer Krutka and his K-9 partner, Jax doing their demonstration or the Lifestar Helicopter landing in front of the Fire Department.  For those who couldn’t join us on Saturday you’ll be happy to know that they were able to see both.  When it came to refreshments most of the children had no problem letting us know that they wanted some popcorn, candy and a soda.  I am sure some of the parents had a difficult time getting the kids in of a nap that afternoon

I enjoyed interacting with the citizens and their families.  I enjoyed the conversations and fun we had talking about a number of interesting topics.

As I have mentioned many times in the past, “I am blessed to work with the team of Officers, Dispatchers and Staff from the Southwick Police Department.”  They truly make my assignment a little easier.   With that being said I would like to publicly thank them for all their hard work and support. The entire staff here at the Police Department volunteered their personal time to be at the event to greet the public and answer any questions which were presented.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank those individuals who volunteered to help us in areas where we needed assistance.Those individuals were the students from the present and past Citizen Police Academies.

In ending I would like to thank all the members from the Southwick Fire Department, Southwick Emergency Management and the Polvereri – Southwick Animal Shelter for all of their hard work.  They all did an outstanding job in present how their Agency fit into the Public Safety role.

All in all it was a great day and I thank everyone who made it a huge success.

 

Chief of Police

Dave Ricardi