The Southwick Massachusetts Police Department | Protect and Serve

The Official Website of The Town of Southwick Police Department

Contact The Southwick Police Department

Massachusetts Fireworks Laws

Massachusetts Fireworks Laws
The 4th of July Holiday is less than 2 weeks away. This is a holiday that traditional brings about the illegal use of fireworks throughout our Community and others. Our Officers as usual will be enforcing the laws where possible. Our main focus 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

20th Citizen Police Academy Graduates

Well it is over, our 20th Citizen Police Academy graduated this past Tuesday evening (05/03/2016) after spending 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 on 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.


The Southwick Police Department has taken a complaint from a citizen who reported that they received a telephone call from an unknown person requesting donations on behalf of the local and State Police. The public should be aware that the Southwick Police Department and Massachusetts State Police do not request donations via phone from town and state residents. At this time no one is authorized to solicit funds on behalf of the Southwick Police Department or the Southwick Police Association. Should you receive a call soliciting funds on our behalf it is our advice that you not make a donation to the calling party as the funds may not be going to a legitimate charity. Thank you.






Keeping Children Safe and Secure Online:

A Project Safe Childhood Presentation for Parents

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional High School

93 Feeding Hills Road

The Presentation will include a variety of topics including:









Presenters include members of the United States Attorney’s Office as well as a

Special Agent from Homeland Security Investigations.

Hoping to see you there, Chief Dave Ricardi

20th Citizen Police Academy

Southwick Police Department

20th Citizen Police Academy

I am proud to announce that will be conducting out twentieth (20th) Southwick Police Department Citizens’ Police Academy starting on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

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.


Chief Dave Ricardi



We are pleased that we have been able to make a difference in the lives of two families in the past 7 days.

We are asking those who witness an overdose or are aware of an individual who may be in an overdose state NOT to DELAY their call for help because they don’t want to see their family member or friend face an arrest. What needs to be known is all individuals who are overdose victims are exempt from criminal prosecution providing that they are not possessing the drug with intent to distribute or trafficking in the drug. If it is a case where the personal use need resulted in the victim overdosing than we can’t pursue a criminal complaint for the mere possession. So please let us help to assist those who are addicted to opiates.

Insert the facebook story here.

Chief Dave Ricardi


Second Overdose In A Matter of Days…..

Shortly after midnight last night officers were dispatched to Eagle Street for the report of a 30 yr. old unresponsive male. Calling party informed Dispatcher LaBombard that this was the result of an apparent Heroin overdose.

Officers Westcott and Krutka were the first to arrive and found the male party on the floor of an upstairs bathroom. Heroin paraphernalia was located in the bathroom. Officers administered a single dose of Narcan, however, the male party did not respond. Officers Day and Arduini then arrived and assisted getting the male party to a more treatable location.

Southwick Fire/Ambulance arrived and EMT’s Pelletier and Bridges joined in the fight to save this young man’s life.

It was determined the male party’s oxygen level was now down to a very dangerous 40%. The effects of the Heroin was crippling this man’s Respiratory system. EMT Pelletier administered a second dose of Narcan and started him on oxygen. The male party was then scooped up and loaded into the ambulance. An ALS (Advanced Life Support) Unit was dispatched from the Westfield Fire Department.

While in route to Noble Hospital Emergency Room, the male patient began to show signs of improvement. At the time of the Westfield Fire Department ALS Unit intercept, the male party was now semi-conscious. Good job by all…..!!!!

This is the second life saved by Southwick First Responders in a matter of days……Heroin and other Opiate containing narcotic addiction is a horrible addiction/disease that is vastly spreading to ALL cities and towns. This is a disease that no one individual can control no matter how much they want to. Not all addicts are criminals or bad people. This addiction effects entire families and addicts need to seek out professional help. Please take the time to educate yourselves of this horrible addiction/disease in an effort to protect your own families and friends….

First Save with Naloxone (Narcan)

Today, we saw proof that our proactive decision to carry Naloxone (Narcan) was a step in the right direction as a resident of our community was saved due to this Opioid antagonist being administered to an unresponsive female.

This morning at 08:40 hrs, Southwick Police officers along with the Southwick Fire Department ambulance responded to a residence here in town for the report of a “Unresponsive female that is turning blue”. While en-route to that location, officers were also advised this may be a possible drug overdose.

Upon arrival Officer Michael A. Taggart quickly evaluated the female subject and recognized the symptoms were that of an Opiate overdose. Officer Taggart quickly administered a dose of the Naloxone (Narcan) to the female subject.

Officer Michael A. Taggart reported that within three (3) minutes of administering the Narcan the victim started to become responsive as her color returned to normal and vital signs were stabilized. This subject was transported to an Emergency Medical facility by Southwick Fire Department ambulance for further evaluation and treatment.

It was just three (3) days ago (Friday, January 29, 2016) that our Officers began carrying Naloxone (Narcan) nasal spray in their medical kits. We knew the day would come when we would save someone’s life but we didn’t anticipated it would occur so quickly. It just proves that no community is exempt from these type of incidents. I and the entire Department are thankful that we were equipped to make a difference between life and death.

Chief Dave Ricardi

Southwick Police Announce Deployment of Intranasal Naloxone (Narcan) Effective January 29, 2016

As we are all aware deaths from heroin and other opiate painkillers have not only soared nationally but in the vast majority of municipalities in Massachusetts. We have witnessed over the past five (5) years that more Police Departments are equipping their Police Officers with Naloxone (Narcan) to administer at an “overdose” call.  Naloxone, commonly known by the brand-name “Narcan” is an opioid antagonist, which means it displaces opioids from receptors in the brain and can therefore reverse an opiate overdose.

It makes sense for the Police to carry the Narcan since they are normally the first on the scene of most calls for service so they can administer the Narcan minutes before Emergency Medical personnel arrive.  This drug has proven to be highly successful in reversing heroin overdoses time and time again.  A handful of Law Enforcement Agencies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who are carrying Narcan have been responsible for reversing hundreds and hundreds of opiate overdoses over the past five (5) years. 

Our Officers, who are First Responders and our Emergency Tele-Communications Dispatchers have all been trained in administering the nasal form of Naloxone (Narcan) to an individual who may become the victim of an opiate overdose. Therefore effective Friday, January 29, 2016, our cruisers will be equipped with Naloxone commonly known as Narcan.  We feel that it will be a great addition to the Emergency Medical kits carried in our cruisers.  In addition, we have also equipped our School Resource Officer, K-9 Officer and our Detective with a Narcan unit in the event they need to administer it during the performance of their daily duties.  The Naloxone (Narcan) we carry is administered in the form of a “nasal spray” and is a drug that can reverse an opiate overdose immediately.   

An overdose of opiates essentially puts the individual in a state where they forget to breathe.  Naloxone works by blocking the brain receptors that opiates latch onto and sends a message to the body to breathe.  The antidote’s effects do wear off in about a half hour and we recommend that the individual be taken to the closest medical facility for further evaluation.

Chief Dave Ricardi

Town of Southwick, 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 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
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

Chief Dave Ricardi