FY20 Police Department Town Report (approved April 6, 2021)
Police Department, FY20: I will not dwell on the negative, but your South Hadley Police Officers and Dispatchers were very busy responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud of the way all our staff adjusted to the changing work environment, on almost a daily basis, for that first 90 days of the pandemic. We relied heavily on the leadership from Town Administrator Michael Sullivan and Emergency Management Director Sharon Hart, who brought our efforts together with a consistent response from the Town. I am thankful that our police and dispatch staff took the protocol changes in stride, committed to ensuring their health so they could provide the level of service that the community deserve and expect.
It is important that I offer my gratitude to the Town of South Hadley residents and community stakeholders that have supported us during a year that has seen national reckoning, and unrest, regarding racial injustice and inequity in the criminal justice system. I appreciate those that have acknowledged the thousands of positive interactions our personnel have with the South Hadley community each year. SHPD strive for constant improvement, and we will continue to work towards equity, justice for all and improving how we serve the community. I also recognize and appreciate those community members that call us to task and who accept nothing but the best from the South Hadley Police Department. All community members, regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, can be assured that we are committed to reflection and actions that strengthening our relationship with the South Hadley community. We will work diligently every day to earn your confidence and trust.
Staffing. We were pleased to welcome two new police officers to the Town of South Hadley Police, Officer Karl Kapinos and Officer Emily Tebo. Officer Kapinos, a life-long South Hadley resident, most recently worked for the Exeter New Hampshire Police Department and we are happy to welcome him home to South Hadley. Officer Tebo has been with the South Hadley Police Department as a Dispatcher since 2014 and we are pleased to have her experience and commitment move over to the policing side. In the E911 Communication Center we welcomed Grayson MacPhail, a great addition to our public safety efforts. The Department and Town offers our well wishes to Lieutenant Christopher Luscomb who retired after 32 years of full-time service and Officer Steve Fleming who retired after 25 years of full-time service.
Grant Funding. The Police Department was awarded numerous grants to supplement the budget and support our efforts. $81,000 was received from the Massachusetts E911 Department for the operation of the E911 Dispatch Center; $5,200 was received from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety under the Traffic Enforcement Grant Program; 20 Child Passenger Seats were granted for distribution to community members in need; $3,000 was received from the City of Northampton to fund the SHPD regional Drug Abuse Response Team (DART); $3,750 was received from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health to develop a SHPD Crisis Response Team (CIT). A 32% increase in grant funding was received from the previous year, thus we are aggressively pursuing ways to be good fiduciaries of the Town of South Hadley resources.
Community Engagement: Your SHPD staff have always prided themselves on robust engagement with the community. We look forward to a time when we can continue outreach and engagement, absent threat of the COVID-19 disease. Despite challenges, we continued our collaborations with our South Hadley schools, youth athletics, food drives, the Connecticut River Task Force, and the Senior Center/ TRIAD. We also began efforts to renovate our website with up-to-date information and data that will be of interest to the community; check us out at www.southhadleypolice.org.
Call Activity: Officers arrested 127 persons, 22% which were for arrest warrants issued by a court. In addition, 163 persons were summonsed to court for criminal offenses. Arrests and summonses for FY20 decreased 21% from FY19. Communication Center staff dispatched first responders to 19,713 calls for service, an increase of 6% from FY19.
Mission Statement:The Mission of the South Hadley Police Department, working in partnership with the community, is to maintain social order and improve the quality of life within the Town of South Hadley. This is accomplished through constant vigilance and the pursuit of violators of the law as governed by both constitutional constraints and our ethical principles of justice, integrity, respect, courage, and allegiance. Our goal is to understand and serve the needs of the South Hadley community by providing the highest quality of police services, assisting in resolving problems, and promoting positive values through equitable and impartial policing consistent with and reflective of the shared values of the community.
Thank you for allowing us to serve the South Hadley community.
Very truly yours,
Jennifer Gundersen Chief of Police
Staffing, FY20 as of June 30, 2020
Police Officers: 28 sworn police officers, 1 vacancy 23 Men 5 Women 25 White 2 White/Hispanic 1 Black
Demographics of interactions, FY20
Race, ethnicity, and gender for FY20. Please note that race and ethnicity is identified by the officer, not self-identified.
SUMMONS: 163 Persons were summons to court in FY20 for a hearing.
ARRESTS: There were 127 arrests in FY20. Of the 127 arrests made in FY20, 28 (22.05%) are a result of a warrant issued by a court and often another jurisdiction.
Traffic Citations: In FY20 705 motorists were stopped by a South Hadley police officer and issued either a citation or written warning for the traffic violation.
American Indian or Alaskan Native
Middle Eastern or East Indian (South Asian)
Crimes Reported, FY20
Data is provided include all calls for service and criminal incidents reported to the South Hadley Police in FY20 which required investigation and reporting.