UMPD hires swell ranks to full strength
J. Fitzgibbons, Chronicle staff
he hiring of 10 new officers over the past year has
brought the UMass Police up to full strength "for the first
time in many years," according to Chief Barbara O'Connor, who
officiated at a swearing-in ceremony for the new hires on Oct. 15
at the Mullins Center.
For a number of years, said O'Connor,
UMPD recruited new officers, sent them to the police academy and
trained them for campus duties only to have them leave for jobs
with other departments and agencies.
"It seems like we always had
a number of vacancies," said O'Connor, who took command of
the department a year ago. "So we decided to change our way
of thinking. We began hiring fully trained officers from other departments."
Along with experienced officers plucked
from the ranks of the Shutesbury Police Department, the State University
of New York, Binghamton police and the U.S. Border Patrol, UMPD
also has brought in seven rookies through the traditional recruitment
process, which involves testing of applicants and the creation of
an eligibility list. From the list, qualified recruits are sent
to the Municipal Police Officers Academy in Agawam. After graduation,
they complete three months of supervised field training on campus.
O'Connor said seven of the 10 new officers are already assigned
to shifts and the other three will complete their field training
at the end of the month. All told, the department now has 42 police
officers plus command staff.
The formal swearing-in ceremony was
attended by family and friends of the new officers as well as their
field training officers, according to the chief.
O'Connor praised the newcomers as
"enthusiastic people who come with a broad range of experience
and lot of new energy."
The new officers are Luis Antonmarchi,
Michael J. Hawk, Charles L. Moore, Eric M. John-son, Allan Silva,
Christopher Stechmann, Damian DeWolf, Timothy Griffin, Jason Minich,
and Randy Kershaw.