By tradition, the senior officer at the UMass Police Department wears Badge 1 and the custom continued Feb. 3 as recently retired Officer Chris Laflamme passed the shield to Officer Ray Babb during ceremonies at the police station.
With about 35 uniformed and civilian staff on hand, Chief John Horvath used the occasion to recount the careers of both men and praise their service.
Calling Laflamme a “dedicated and outstanding officer,” Horvath added, “Chris has imparted his knowledge, experience and training throughout the years to assist those around him and make UMPD a better place to work.”
Over his 37 years with the department, Laflamme was recognized with the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Distinguished Service Award, the Education Achievement Award, Grand Cordon Citation, Good Conduct Citation, Exceptional Duty Citation and a number of letters of commendation.
During the past seven and a half years, said Horvath, Laflamme served as evidence control officer, “ensuring greater accountability and increased confidence” in the processing of evidence for UMPD. Horvath presented Laflamme with a plaque honoring his service.
In brief remarks, Laflamme said, “I enjoyed just about every day here. I’m going to miss it, but I’m going to miss the people more.”
Babb, who will reach the 34-year mark with UMPD early next month, “is known for his community-focused style of policing, his ability to be in the right place at the right time and his continued strong work ethic,” said Horvath. “He is committed to building strong partnerships on campus that reflect positively on this department and demonstrates that commitment each and every day he comes to work.”
In 1989, Babb received the department’s Medal of Honor, which recognizes an outstanding act in the line of duty at imminent personal hazard of life with full knowledge of the risk. Involved and a letter of appreciation for his assistance with a multiple fatality accident in Hadley. Babb has also earned the Exceptional Duty Citation, Good Conduct Citation and several letters of commendation for his police work.
Officer Brian Kellogg, president of the New England Police Benevolent Association local, and Lt. Robert Thrasher, president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers local, also offered their congratulations to Babb and Laflamme.