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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

2017 – Southwick Public Safety Day Another Huge Success

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

Dave Ricardi

 

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Officer Mike Taggart installing a car seat
Officer Mike Taggart installing a car seat

 

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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
community.

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.

Summary:

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
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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

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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

DONATION TO SOUTHWICK POLICE K-9 FUND APPRECIATED

DONATION TO SOUTHWICK POLICE K-9 FUND APPRECIATED

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