FY21

FY21 South Hadley Police Department Annual Report

Chief's Message to the Community:  

On behalf the South Hadley Police Department, thank you for allowing us to be of service to the Town of South Hadley. We continually strive to earn the confidence and respect of the community we serve.  Our officers maintain the tradition of service through the community policing model, which is evident in our programming and successes outlined within this annual report. I am so very grateful for our officers’ dedication and commitment to this town.    All members of the South Hadley Police Department share the values of this community, including equity to all, excellence in service and a commitment to transparency.  While this past year has seen adversity and challenges for policing, know that your South Hadley Police Department is committed to community inclusion to achieve exceptional public safety for us all.  Together with our community’s assistance, we move this department forward, developing new partnerships and building upon the existing foundations that have been effective in serving you.  Please know that the members of the South Hadley Police Department value greatly the trust that you have in us.   We know that our success is not possible without your support!  

Very truly yours,

Jennifer Gundersen
Chief of Police

Staffing, FY21:  

The South Hadley Police welcomed two new police officers during this fiscal year.  Ofc. David Pratt was sworn in on Sept. 14, 2020.  A town resident and South Hadley High School graduate, Pratt joined the department after graduating from Fitchburg State University with a bachelor’s degree.  Ofc. Darrell Kretchmar was sworn in on Feb. 5, 2021. Kretchmar, a resident of Easthampton, joined after graduating from Westfield State University with a bachelor’s degree.  Both officers are an excellent addition to the department.  We were pleased hire Dispatcher Alex Gonzales, from Northampton and a full-time dispatcher at Mt. Holyoke College, to the Communication Center as a part time E911 dispatcher.  Previously a school resource officer, Ofc. Douglas Percy was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was assigned to the dayshift.  Ofc. Felix Blaney-Perez was reassigned to the detective bureau and is working the evening shift and has proven himself an asset to that unit.  Due to the successful partnership the department enjoys with the school district, Ofc. Joshua Helems was reassigned as the school resources officer at the high school.  Ofc. Emily Tebo assumed the role of liaison to the senior citizen community and has been doing some great outreach with our elder population.  Ofc. Ronald Condino retired after 15 years of service, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.  

Awards and Recognition, FY21:

During this fiscal year the following personnel were recognized for their service to the community.  Sgt. Jeffrey Goulet, Ofc. Raymond Hebert, Ofc. Kelsey Davey and Ofc. Karl Kapinos were all awarded the department’s Exceptional Service Award for their response to an armed barricaded person, which led to a successful outcome of no injuries to any involved individuals.  Sgt. Mark Baran was awarded the Richard G. Werenski Police Officer of the Year Award by the Western Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association for his many years of service training recruit and veteran police officers at the Western Mass. Police Academy.  Ofc. Kelsey Davey was awarded the Department’s Life Saving Award for her swift actions with an infant that was not breathing.  As part of annual fundraising endeavors, members of the South Hadley Police Department donated $1,300 to Baystate Hospital Rays of Hope promoting a cure for breast cancer and $2,500 to Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation supporting returning military veterans.  

Grant Funding, FY21

To be good stewards of the public’s financial resources, the department applied for and was awarded $118,000 in grant funding, which is a 25% increase from FY20.  This supplemental funding includes the following:  $88,500 from the Massachusetts E911 Department for the operation of the E911 Dispatch Center; $8,200 from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security under the Traffic Enforcement Grant Program; $12,260 from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health to enhance the SHPD Crisis Response Team (CIT);  $1,300 from Med-Project Inc. to support the medication disposal program; and $8,400 from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security awarded under the Edward Byrne Grant Program to promote police innovation.     

Community Partnerships and Engagement, FY21:

The South Hadley Police Department is committed to establishing trust and community support for our department.  We strive to identify news ways to engage with and strengthen the South Hadley community.  To achieve this, new this fiscal year were many programs.  In June of 2021, we achieved the successful training and outfitting of two police officers to a newly refreshed Bicycle Patrol Unit.   Ofc. Spencer Hart and Ofc. Kelsey Davey can be seen around town and accessible on the bicycles, the costs which were covered by a state grant.  Additionally, the department was invited to be one of only six communities in Western Massachusetts to participate in a restorative justice program.  Restorative justice views crime as more than breaking the law – it also causes harm to people, relationships, and the community.   As part of this program, for specific cases, it is the policy of the South Hadley Police Department to use a community-based restorative justice program as an alternative to traditional case-resolution through the court system. Diversion to a community-based Restorative Justice Program (RJP) is a promising method to reduce recidivism and repair harm to victims.     

Additionally, the department has started work with the P.A.C.E Team.  The South Hadley Police Access and Community Engagement is team of South Hadley Police Department officers with varying backgrounds and professional experiences who are tasked with developing strategies to strengthen the relationship between the police and community.   Some objectives of the P.A.C.E. Team include engaging with the community regarding agency priorities and governance, to deliver equitable police services absent all biases including racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic, to improve transparency in practices and agency decisions and to review equity of services that are provided to the community.   Members include Sgt. Mark Baran, Sgt. Jeffrey Goulet, Det. Felix Blaney-Perez, Ofc. Cindy Boyle and Ofc. Junior Swaby.  P.A.C.E held one virtual community forum moderated by Select Board Member Chris Geraghty which was successful and received many questions from the community.   From this team, the department website now provides more transparent and detailed information regarding calls for service, persons arrested and other statistical data regarding the actions of department personnel.  

Call Activity, FY21:  

Officers arrested 87 persons, 31% which were for arrest warrants issued by a court.  In addition, 208 persons were summonsed to court for criminal offenses.  Arrests and summonses for FY21 increased 1.69% from FY20.   Communication center staff dispatched first responders to 20,219 calls for service, an increase of 2.5% from FY20.

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.

Staffing, FY21 as of June 30, 2021

Police Officers:
28 sworn police officers, 1 vacancy
23 Men
5 Women
25 White
2 White/Hispanic
1 Black
  

 Demographics of interactions, FY21

Race, ethnicity, and gender for FY21.  Please note that race and ethnicity is identified by the officer, not self-identified.  

SUMMONS:  208 Persons were summons to court for a hearing in FY21.  

TOTAL

208

100.00%




ASIAN

1

1.44%

BLACK

20

9.62%

WHITE/HISPANIC

61

29.33%

WHITE

121

58.17%

 

AMERICAN INDIAN/ALASKIAN

3

1.44%




Total

208

100.00%

M

150

72.12%

F

58

27.88%

 

ARRESTS:  There were 87 arrests in FY21.  Of the 87 arrests made in FY21, 27 (31.03%) are a result of an arrest warrant issued by a court and often another jurisdiction.

TOTAL

87

100.00%

ASIAN

0

0.00%

BLACK

5

5.75%

WHITE/HISPANIC

25

28.74%

WHITE

57

65.52%

UNK

0

0.00%

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

87

 

100.00%

M

63

72.41%

F

24

27.59%






 

Traffic Citations:   In FY21 1,497 motorists were stopped by a South Hadley police officer and issued either a citation, written warning, or verbal warning for the traffic violation.  

TOTAL

1497

100.00%

ASIAN

15

1.00%

BLACK

90

6.01%

WHITE/HISPANIC

299

19.97%

WHITE

1092

72.95%

American Indian or Alaskan Native

0

0.00%

Middle Eastern or East Indian (South Asian)

1

0.07%

UNKNOWN

0

0.00%

 

Crimes Reported, FY21

Data provided include all calls for service and criminal incidents reported to the South Hadley Police in FY21 which required investigation and reporting.   

Calls for Service, FY21
Crimes Reported, IBR, FY21