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Southwick Public Safety Services Day – Saturday – April 29, 2017

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 &
Pneumonia shots.

Chief Dave Ricardi

Feeding Hills Road Construction Project

Feeding Hills Road

Construction Project

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

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.


The snow has found us 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

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

Looking forward to Spring

Chief Dave Ricardi

21th Citizen Police Academy Graduates

21th Citizen Police Academy Graduates

We held the graduation ceremony for students of our 21th Citizen Police Academy last evening (12/07/2016).  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 Department 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 22st Citizen Police Academy class which is planned to start sometime in October in 2017.  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.

Chief Dave Ricardi



It was an honor at the Veterans Day Parade ceremony to accept a donation from the VFW for our K-9 program. On behalf of our K-9 Officer Thomas L. Krutka, his K-9 partner – Jax, and the entire Southwick Police Department I would like to express our gratitude for the generous donation of $1,000.00. It is obvious that the hard work of the membership of Post 872 went a long way in being able to make such a donation.

The donation will be allocated for the enhanced development, safety equipment and/or maintenance related to the K-9 program. In today’s economy we have learned donations play an integral part in being able to maintain this and other valuable programs for our community.

Chief Dave Ricardi


Saturday, November 12th and Saturday, November 19th
In the interest of safety we are posting this notice to inform the citizens of Southwick that our local Boy Scouts organizations will be out canvassing our neighborhoods during the next 2 Saturdays in an effort to support their annual food drive for the Southwick Food Pantry.
The Scouts will be distributing the bags on the 12th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and collecting them on the 19th during the same hours. We are asking for the next 2 Saturdays that you be alert for Scouters and slow moving vehicles.
Let’s have a Safe and Enjoyable Holiday
Chief Dave Ricardi


Predicting marijuana users will grow their own plants and take other steps to avoid taxes, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation on Thursday added its voice to those opposing Question 4, which legalizes adult use and retail sale of marijuana.

In a position paper signed by MTF President Eileen McAnneny, she concludes, “People have a lot to consider as they vote on Question 4, but believing this is a significant new revenue source for the state is not one of them. Question 4 is a bad deal for taxpayers that could leave us subsidizing the marijuana industry and that’s why the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is opposing it.” McAnneny called the initiative petition’s home-grow provision, which allows every adult to grow six plants, “the most generous in the nation and questioned why marijuana users would opt to buy retail and pay a 10 percent tax. An exemption from taxation for medical marijuana will also incent people to use that system as a means of accessing marijuana to avoid taxation, according to MTF. The foundation disputed the question sponsor’s claims that its passage will generate $100 million in new tax revenues, or more than enough to cover regulatory costs. Even if $100 million were generated, MTF says “it is indisputable that expenses will outpace revenues in the short-term.” MTF also predicted indirect costs associated with addiction services, emergency room visits, and “drugged driving.” The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, which supports Question 4, on Thursday released a map showing the locations in Boston of police incidents and arrests for marijuana, concluding that it confirms that “while all races of people smoke and sell marijuana at similar rates, marijuana enforcement is disproportionately concentrated in communities of color.”
– Michael Norton/SHNS

Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association Position on the Legalization of Marijuana



Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association

Position on the Legalization of Marijuana



The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association has released their position paper on Question 4, legalization of Marijuana. See below.

Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association
Position on the Legalization of Marijuana

The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association (MCOPA) strongly opposes the legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts. As veteran police officers, we believe that allowing the delivery, sales, transfer, growing, cultivating, processing and manufacturing of marijuana, and its derivatives would have a detrimental impact upon the citizens of Massachusetts for a variety of reasons.

Given that Massachusetts is mired in an addiction epidemic of historic proportions, now is not the time to increase access to marijuana, marijuana by-products and the high-concentrate THC products that would be permitted should the November ballot question pass. While many voters may be under the impression that the ballot question would permit the sale of marijuana in plant
form, it would also allow for the commercial sale of potent extracts including hash oil, resins, tinctures and various forms of concentrates that would include marijuana candy and beverages containing high levels of THC.

Should the November ballot initiative pass, we believe that Massachusetts would quickly suffer the same undesirable impacts taking place in Colorado and Washington State, where recently enacted laws now allow commercial marijuana sales. Those states have already seen surges in impaired driving, drugged-driving fatalities and diversion of bulk marijuana to other states, as well as the phenomenon of people flocking to those states for the purpose of buying and using drugs there. Most alarmingly, a study recently released in Colorado showed increasing use of drugs by young people after marijuana was legalized there.

While traffic fatalities involving drivers under the influence of marijuana and THC have increased in Colorado and Washington, there are no standardized field sobriety tests for driving while high, nor is there a scientific standard of measurement for law enforcement to determine impairment. There is no breathalyzer for weed.

The proponents of marijuana legalization would have voters believe that draconian drug laws have resulted in the arrest of people for possessing pot, but that’s not true. First of all, since 1975 possession of marijuana offenses in Massachusetts were automatically dismissed and the records were sealed. And since 2009, possession of an ounce or less of marijuana has been
“decriminalized” and people caught with weed are issued a $100 citation. In fact, as a result of decriminalization police officers have lost the authority to search vehicles for marijuana in all but the most extraordinary cases.

The proponents would also have you believe that allowing marijuana sales would cut into the profits of organized crime, but that’s not what has happened elsewhere. Our colleagues in Colorado have seen drug dealers come from other states to take advantage of the fact that people there can now buy pot legally. And given the choice between buying it in a store where it is “regulated” and taxed, and getting it on the street where no tax is paid, customers are attracted to the street. Colorado is not making the tax income voters had hoped.

We are encouraged by the recent outcome of a ballot initiative in Ohio where voters rejected legalization in spite of a $25 million campaign by the pro pot movement. Massachusetts voters should brace themselves for an onslaught of advertising financed by the Marijuana Policy Project and other pro-marijuana groups over the summer and leading into the November election. We hope and trust that voters will see through the rhetoric and falsehoods and realize that there is simply no advantage to legalizing the commercial sale of marijuana, and that the detrimental effects seen in Colorado and Washington would occur here if the ballot question were to pass.

We are proud to join the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts in working to defeat this terrible idea. We are encouraged that Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo, Mayor Walsh and Attorney General Healey spoke out so soon about their opposition, as did the Construction Industries of Massachusetts, Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, the Association for Behavioral Healthcare, the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, all Massachusetts District Attorneys and many others.

Legalizing drug sales at this time in our history is a terrible idea. There is no benefit and the consequences would be dire. We hope voters will soundly reject the ballot question.


Chief Dave Ricardi

October 2016