Police Update: A seed warning, safety reminders, SPD’s 90th birthday, logs and more

Above: The SPD celebrated a big anniversary in June. And public safety personnel thanked those that showed them support this summer. (images from Facebook)

It’s time to for an update on what the Southborough Police Department has been up to this summer.

Safety Warnings and Reminders

Unsolicited Seed Packets

Today the SPD shared a Boston 25 News story on strange packets of seeds some people have received in the mail. According to the SPD’s Facebook post, a resident reported receiving one. The story notes:

The state’s Department of Agriculture said the types of seeds in the packages are unknown, and you should let the department know if you received one.

A link in the story leads to a mass.gov page explaining:

If you have received one or more packages from a foreign country, containing seeds that you did not order, please use the form below to provide the Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) with your contact information. MDAR will provide this information to the USDA.

While the seeds are not expected to be harmful to humans or pets, they could pose a risk to agriculture. Please do not plant or dispose of the seeds.

Unemployment Scam

Earlier this summer, the SPD warned about scammers targeting unemployment claimants. According to the post, several residents had reported being victimized. You can read more here.

Safety Reminders for cyclists and pedestrians

A resident contacted the department about unsafe behavior he saw on Southborough streets – due to the increase of people walking and biking around town during the pandemic. The SPD responded by issuing safety reminders on Facebook.

For walkers/joggers:

We are sharing these safety tips for Pedestrians from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Please follow this link to find out more on how to protect yourself and your loved ones when walking, and learn how you can help prevent pedestrian injuries and deaths. [link]

For cyclists:

With the increase in bicyclists on the roads lately, we just wanted to share this website (as a reference) for Massachusetts bicycle laws. Please follow the link, and we hope everyone stays safe out there! [link]

Touting the Jail Diversion Program

JDP Clinician Christina FittonAcross the country, some protesters and political advocates have spoke about the way police respond to mental health calls. Last week, the SPD reminded that their department is part of a Jail Diversion Program that partners with a clinician:

A reminder to our community- our JDP Clinician, Christina Fitton, is a member of our SPD Team. She assists our officers and residents during mental health crisis calls, and provides valuable resources to help those who need it. When we were asked if we wanted to be involved with the JDP program – we jumped at the chance. We are so glad that we did! Christina has assisted the SPD and the community we serve, since the day she came onboard. Read below, for more information about Christina and the Jail Diversion Program.

Appreciation for support

Some community members showed support and appreciation for the SPD. They posted their thanks in return. 

Recently, Southborough resident Dmitri Boutoussov brought in lunch for their officers. And last week, Uhlman’s Ice Cream stopped by to offer ice cream to public safety personnel. 

We truly appreciate your kindness and generosity!

And in June, the Rotary Club dropped off bags of Ice Cream for first responders:

We truly appreciate this thoughtful donation to the SPD & SFD!

Dmitri Boutoussov Uhlman's Ice Cream truck Thanking the Rotary Club

Remembrances and Celebrations

Sgt CainEarlier this month, the SPD shared a remembrance of a late coworker. On July 15th they posted:

Seventeen years ago today, we lost a friend and colleague to lung cancer. Sergeant Frank Cain (pictured third from left) used his experience and sense of humor to help others; assist new officers; and make Southborough residents; his co-workers; and complete strangers feel valued and respected.

He is greatly missed to this day.

(Pictured in this photo- from left to right- is Sgt. Tim Slatkavitz; Chief Bill Webber; Sgt. Frank Cain; and Off. Kevin Landry).

Chief Howard GoffIn June, the SPD shared a nostalgic throwback:

Southborough Police Chief Howard E. Goff standing in front of his police car (cir. 1948). His grandson, Southborough Police Sergeant Timothy Slatkavitz, brought one of his grandfather’s business cards and this photo of Chief Goff over to Crown Trophy in Marlborough, MA. A big “Thank you” to Andy Gleckel of Crown Trophy, for putting this frame together for the Department. It was added to the Police Department’s display case in our lobby, this morning.

Later that month, the SPD hailed a big milestone. On July 2oth, the department posted:

Southborough Police Dept 90th anniversaryThe Southborough Police Department is proud to announce the celebration of our 90th Anniversary!!

Chief William Wentworth was appointed as the first Chief of the department sometime during the year 1929, after having served as the Town’s only officer in 1928.

We have attached several documents which you will find informative and enjoyable. One is a 1928 report of the department. The second is Chief Wentworth’s first annual report for 1929, which was published in the 1930 Town Report.

The Town did have police oversight during the construction of the reservoir system in the years 1896-1900. However, the force was funded and appointed through the MWRA and then disbanded in 1898.

Many constables were appointed in the intervening years until Chief Wentworth’s appointment, resulting in the birth of the Town’s current Police Department (circa 1929-1930).
To commemorate the Anniversary, officers will have the option of wearing a special badge commemorating our 90th year of service for the rest of 2020. The badge was modeled after an antique “radiator badge” given to Officer Kevin Landry by the late Town Moderator, John Wilson. Although we are unsure of the history of the badge, it was a popular design for many Town’s dating from the 1850’s, through the first part of the 20th Century.

Special thanks to Town Clerk Jim Hagerty, who helped in the research for this Anniversary commemoration project. Also, a big thank you to Southborough Call EMT Andy Gleckel, who is the owner of Crown Trophy in Northborough. Mr. Gleckel was a tremendous resource with the design and fabrication of the commemorative badges.

The post included some pictures of documents describing the establishment of the first chief, plus his first annual police log. You can find those here.

And speaking of logs. . .

Police Logs

The latest batch of SPD logs cover late May, then late June through earlier this week, with a big gap between. That means that some of the bigger news that I covered earlier this summer weren’t included. (That includes the attack on Sgt James Deluca.)

For the dates that were posted, the SPD reported 3 arrests (two for alleged drunk driving and one for allegedly driving without a license) and one Criminal Application being pressed against an alleged erratic driver. The only robbery and burglary reported were ones from May that I already covered. The SPD took 22 reports of Larceny, Forgery, and/or Fraud. Officers responded to 17 car accidents, with only one listed as requiring a hospital transport.

You can read the logs here.

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Dean Dairy
3 years ago

The model pairs police officers with master’s level clinicians, who ride alongside officers on all calls involving individuals in a mental health or substance abuse-related crisis.

While laudable in its intent in most cases, has anyone looked at the legal implications of this diversion program?

If one of those calls is eventually discovered to be associated with a serious crime, clinician “ride-alongs” with police could introduce serious issues affecting the admissibility of evidence and literally let someone get away with murder.

Going in, you don’t know whether the hysterical person is in that condition because he committed a serious crime. Discovery of same in the presence of a mental health professional working in tandem with the police is likely to be problematic when it comes to admissible evidence.

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