2017 – 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 citizens who may be unfamiliar our Town by-laws as they relate to snow removal and winter recreation issues. If an Officer finds a violation he has an option to issue an infraction citation a Town of Southwick Notice of Violation of Town By-Law or Regulation ticket to the violator. By sending out this message we are hoping that the Officers will not have to resort to issuing any payable type citations.

Chapter 157, Streets and Sidewalks

Article II – Snow and Ice Removal

· Chapter 157, Section 4: Residents of 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

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K-9 General Graduates from first phase of training!

I am proud to announce that Officer Michael A. Westcott and his K-9 partner, General, graduated from the North American Police Work Dog Association on Friday, December 1, 2017. The intense training program certified our K-9 as a “Police Utility Dog” which provided certifications in Obedience, Article Search, Area Search, Building Search, Tracking and Aggression Control.

Officer Westcott and General have been assigned to the 4 p.m. to Midnight shift until they move onto their next phrase of training. They are scheduled to attending a “Drug Identification” training program in January in order to become certified in identifying narcotic substances. This is a 4 to 5 week program.

Chief Dave Ricardi

Congratulations to the 22th Citizen Police Academy Graduates

Congratulations to the 22th Citizen Police Academy Graduates

We held the graduation ceremony for students of our 22th Citizen Police Academy on Tuesday evening (12/05/2017). The graduates spent eight (8) weeks learning about different facets of our Department and what the Officers do to on a daily basis to best serve their community. We have now educated over 450 citizens about all of the services their Police Department provide to this community.

I would like to publicly extend by congratulations to all of the graduates who took the time from their busy schedules to participate in such a worthwhile program. The graduates each got first-hand experience in a variety of areas. There is no doubt based on the conversations I had with the graduates that this was an eye-opening experience for all and one that will be everlasting. The graduates learned first-hand what takes place from the time a complaint is called into the Dispatcher to the time a final disposition is reached. Each of the graduates had the favorite class or two during the program but they all agreed that they never realized how much work our Officers do and how many different hats they wear doing the course of their shifts. Congratulation again.

I am looking forward to our 23rd Citizen Police Academy class which is planned to start in the Spring of 2018. If you are interested I would ask that you call Sergeant Kirk Sanders at the Police Department (569-5348 ext. 624) or stop in at the Department and get an application at our Dispatch Center.

Have a Safe Holiday Season

Chief Dave Ricardi

Southwick Police Department 20th Citizen Police Academy

Southwick Police Department

20th Citizen Police Academy

I am proud to announce that will be conducting out twenty-second (22th) Southwick Police Department Citizens’ Police Academy starting on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

The Citizens’ Police Academy is an eight (8) week program designed to show Southwick residents, first-hand information on how their Police Department works. The classes will be held once a week on Tuesday and will meet in the Training Room at the Southwick Fire Department.

The Academy is available to any Southwick resident eighteen (18) years old or older. Anyone who works in Southwick can also apply. At the present time, there are some openings available for this class so if you are interested you should call Sergeant Kirk Sanders at 569-5348 extension 624 to obtain an application.

The training syllabus consists of the following classes:

  • Tour of the Police Department
  • Emergency Dispatch Center
  • Crime Scene Investigations
  • Criminal Law and Procedures
  • Controlled Substance Identifications and Investigations
  • Firearms
  • K-9 Demonstration
  • Role of the Court System
  • Dive and Rescue Team Program
  • Use of Force
  • Role of our Resource Officer and Safety Officer
  • Operating under the Influence of Alcohol Investigations
  • You are the Police Officer scenarios
  • A ride-a-long with an Officer

At the end of eight weeks there is a graduation ceremony.

Respectfully,

Chief Dave Ricardi

NEW K-9 OFFICER APPOINTED…..

New K-9 Officer appointed…….

Chief Dave Ricardi is pleased to announce Officer Michael A. Westcott has been chosen to be the Southwick Police Department’s next K-9 handler replacing veteran handler Sergeant Thomas Krutka. Officer Westcott is expected to begin his initial training program in the latter part of August.

Prior to beginning the training program, Officer Westcott will accompany Master trainer, Capt. Dwane Foisy of the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department to Shallow Creek Kennels in Pennsylvania where they will select a K-9 that will best meet the needs of the Town of Southwick

The training program which expected to take approximately 8 to 12 weeks will begin shortly after our new K-9 is selected. The initial training consists of an extensive obedience program as well as programs necessary to building a successful K-9 team.

Shortly after the new K-9 team has received its first certification the team will later attend a four week narcotic detection certification program.

The members of the Southwick Police Department are confident that Officer Westcott and his new canine partner will take over where Sergeant Krutka and K-9 Jax left off. We look forward to the day when we will once again have an established K-9 team.

2017 Blood Donor Challenge Southwick Police vs Southwick Fire

This year’s Challenge will take place on Monday, August 7, 2017 from 4 pm – 8 pm at 15 Depot

Street, Southwick.  Each eligible donor will receive a FREE BIG E Ticket!

 

Sign Up Today!!!  Walk-ins are welcome!! To donate on behalf of the Police Department please

contact Sue at 413.569.5348 Ext. 609 to make a scheduled appointment

 

The Police vs Fire Departments Blood Donor Challenge only happens ONCE a year so we hope

you will come out to help Southwick Police Department WIN this year.  Whether you donate on

behalf of the Police or our counterparts in Public Safety at the Fire Department you will be

helping someone in need.

 

Chief Dave Ricardi

2017 July 4th Message from the Chief

 

Massachusetts Fireworks Laws

 

               The 4th of July Holiday is less than a month away.  We all know this is a holiday which traditional brings about the illegal use of fireworks throughout our Community. Our Officers will be enforcing the laws where possible.  Our goal 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 following: 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 crops by birds

    Have a Safe Holiday

    Chief Dave Ricardi

The Southwick Police Department Is Seeking Donations To Replace Our Current Police Dog – Officer Jax

As many citizens know, on May 31, 2017, our K-9, Officer Jax, will be retiring after ten (10) years of loyal and dedicated service to this Department and its citizens.  Our current K-9 program has brought much notoriety to the Town of Southwick.  During their career, Officer Jax and his handler, Officer Tom Krutka, have been well respected for their work and successes throughout the region.   They have tracked and recovered missing children, missing adults and wanted fugitives with a high success rate. 

In addition, in 2014, Officer Krutka and his K9 partner, Officer Jax, were recognized by the Massachusetts Police Work Dog Association as being the “Narcotic Detection Team of the Year.” Of course, in 2014, it was talents of our K-9 team which attributed to the seizure of 119 pounds of Marijuana and over 1.2 million dollars in U.S. currency.  This K-9 team was also responsible for numerous other seizures involving illegal narcotics.

We are pleased to inform you that we have decided to continue our K-9 program in order to serve the needs of this community.  As one can see this is without a doubt a valuable asset to all of us.  Therefore, we will need to purchase another K-9 in order to do so.  With that being said we are making it known that we are currently soliciting donations from the public to help defray the cost associated with the purchase and training of our new K-9.

If you wish to donate please make checks payable to the Southwick Police Department      K-9 Fund.   Donations can be dropped off at the Police Department or sent to:

Southwick Police Department

Attn: Southwick Police K-9 Fund

11 Depot Street

Southwick, MA 01077

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call the Southwick Police Department at 413-569-5348, Ext. 609 or 606.

Thank-you in Advance

Chief Dave Ricardi

Change in Enforcement Policy

Personal Watercraft / Jet Skis are no longer prohibited

 on the North basin (North Pond) of the Congamond Lake

As the result of a recent decision received from the office of the Environmental Police personal watercraft / jet skis are now allowed to be used on North Pond section of the Congamond Lake.

Chief Dave Ricardi / Harbormaster

Notification of Intent to Retire / K-9 Jax

Notification of Intent to Retire / K-9 Jax

 It is with much regret that I notify the citizens of the community that after many meetings with K-9 Officer Thomas L. Krutka it has been decided that our Department K-9, Jax, will retire effective May 31, 2017.  Jax started his career with us in May of 2007 giving him ten (10) years of dedicated service to this Department and surrounding agencies.

 In 2014, the Massachusetts Police Work Dog Association presented the prestigious award of being the “Narcotic Detection Team of the Year” to Officer Krutka and Jax.   Of course, in 2014 it was the talents of our K-9 team which attributed to seizure of 119 pounds of Marijuana and 1.2 Million dollars in U.S. Currency.   This is only one of the many accomplishments in the ten (10) years serving this community.

 My plan is to continue supporting another K-9 for the already established and successful program. .

 Sincerely,

 Chief David A. Ricardinew pic