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.
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
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
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
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
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. .
Chief David A. Ricardi
The second Southwick Public Safety Day was without a doubt another 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. The event was filled with many interactive displays as well as demonstrations of both Police and Fire Equipment. We were honored with visits from Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog. When it came to refreshments most of the children had no problem letting us know that they wanted some popcorn, candy, cookies or a water. Yes, many of the adults had no problem packing away the culinary delights. I heard our First Responder partners next door were busy serving delicious refreshments also. There is no doubt there were some parents who had a difficult time getting the kids in for a nap Saturday afternoon
I enjoyed interacting with the citizens and their families. We had a number of entertaining conversations on a variety of interesting topics.
Those who know me have heard me mention many times in the past, “I am blessed to work with the team of Officers, Dispatchers and Staff at 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 past Citizen Police Academies. Of course we can’t forget those individuals who provided us with all of those wonderful treats.
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 representing how their Agency fits into the Public Safety role. The efforts of all involved contributed to the overall success of this event.
All in all it was a great day and I thank everyone who made it a huge success.
Chief of Police
Officer Mike Taggart installing a car seat
Southwick Public Safety Services Day – Saturday – April 29, 2017
Location: Police and Fire Departments Safety Campus Time: 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.
Police Chief David A. Ricardi and Fire Chief Russell Anderson are announcing that the
Southwick Police and Fire departments will host its second Public Safety Services Day open
house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Town of Southwick Safety
Campus located on Depot Street. The open house will include tours of the Police and Fire
Departments so the citizens can learn about the technology that our staff utilizes to better serve
the citizens. The open house is also another way that we can connect with the residents in a
relaxed, informal setting and share information about programs and services available to the
We are also pleased that our partners from the Animal Shelter, the Southwick Emergency
Management Team and the Local Emergency Planning Committee will be on hand to answer any
questions pertaining to their Departments. There will be dog trainers at the Animal Shelter in the
event anyone has a question about canine behavior.
Police Officers, Firefighters and Emergency Tele-Communications Dispatchers will be
on-site to interact with the community members and answer any questions. We’re excited to
bring the public into the Police and Fire stations and allow children the opportunity to get an up
close look at the Fire apparatus and Police vehicles. This event is bound to be a fun event for
attendees of all ages. We encourage all those with any interest to attend as it will be a fun event
for everyone no matter how young or old.
Some of the highlights of this event will include but are not limited to a K-9
Demonstration with Officer Tom Krutka & his K-9 partner, Jax, at 12 Noon as well as continual
visits by Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog. Our Officers who are certified to install
child car seats will be available providing you call 569-5348 ext. 609 to schedule an
appointment. Of course, we will have some culinary delights and refreshments for those hungry
and thirsty visitors.
The Fire Department will have a Kids level Firefighter challenge, a Fire Safety Trailer as
well as a demonstration on the use of their Cold Water Rescue Suits.
The Police Department will have an informational exhibit known as “Hidden in Plain
Sight,” which is highly recommended for those parents wishing an education as it relates to
drugs in the home. The Police will showcase frontline equipment with hands-on demonstrations.
Representatives from the Rite-Aid Pharmacy will be present to administer Flu &
Chief Dave Ricardi
Feeding Hills Road
On Monday, March 13, 2017, a major road design project for Feeding Hills Road will begin at about 7 A.M. The project is expected to go through November of this year with an expected completion date of somewhere in March of 2018.
The project will create some addition traffic congestion Monday through Friday during the hours of 7 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. As a results of this increased traffic we are asking all motorist to beware of the surroundings at all times. We would ask that all drivers be cognizance that Feeding Hills Road from College Highway to Foster & North Longyard Road will be a construction site which will require everyone to:
· Pay attention and keep off your devices – even if you are hands free. Talking on the phone causes cognitive distraction. There is a lot happening in work zones, you need to pay attention to the Officers and the signs.
· You must keep your eyes on the road. Traffic conditions can change quickly and unexpectedly in work zones.
· So Slow Down – especially at the first sign of a work zone. Obey all posted speed limits.
· Speeding violations are double the original fine when occurring in a work zone.
We are planning on providing as many traffic updates as possible. There are no scheduled detours for this project. You can expect delays so if you know an alternative route we would suggest utilizing it.
Chief Dave Ricardi