Public Safety Update: Logs, Fires, Crime warnings, Community support and more

Tonight, the Select Board is scheduled to have another conversation with the public safety chiefs about Dispatcher staffing. It’s a reminder that I’m way behind in sharing what our Police and Fire Departments have been up to.

I’ve shared a few updates this fall, but haven’t given a thorough look since early August. Since then, police logs posted cover July 31st through December 5th. (You can peruse the 66 pages of logs here.)

During those 18 weeks, the Southborough Police Department made 17 arrests (most related to driving incidents, including alleged drunk driving) and pressed charges against another 26 drivers “criminal applications”. 99 Car accidents were reported in the logs. There were four complaints of harassment and two of assault. 

26 reports were taken of larceny, forgery, fraud, or scams. Only three burglaries were listed in the logs, but police announcements on Facebook indicate that two of those incidents related to several thefts from cars on multiple streets. (The SPD has repeatedly warned residents to lock their cars. All of these burglaries were ones I previously reported on.)

The Southborough Fire Department’s reports for August through November, show SFD responding to 312 Emergency Medical calls. They also handled 15 Hazardous Conditions and 9 fires. Other responses were for 42 Service calls, 5 “special incidents”, and 108 false alarms. 46 responses were for “Good Intent” calls – calls made for an emergency scare/concern that turns out to be unfounded.* (To view SFD’s Activity and Performance Measure Reports, including response times and Mutual Aid data, click here.)

The logs and performance reports don’t share details on incidents. For that, I look to Facebook for posts from the Southborough Police Department and Southborough Fire Department. Here are highlights.

Emergency Responses

Southborough Fires & Hazards

Of the 9 fires, the SFD only posted about two:

  • On November 4th, the SFD responded to a fire at the Transfer Station to extinguish a small fire in the compactor. “There was no damage to any of the facilities and only a short disruption in operations.”
  • Car fire (SFD on Facebook)On October 20th, they extinguished a vehicle fire at a Walnut Drive home. 

Southborough Accidents

Of the 99 accidents reported in SPD logs, details were shared on seven:

  • While the SFD was dealing with the above car fire, a 3-car accident was reported on Rte 9 near Ken’s Foods Warehouse. Ambulance 29 evaluated one potential patient (and obtained a patient refusal), while mutual aid from Westborough contained and cleared a fluid spill.
  • Photos were posted of:
    • Another 3-car crash a month prior on the MassPike. The crash trapped one passenger. (Westborough Fire Dept did note that this one resulted in injuries. It didn’t get media attention, which was focused on a bigger Pike accident that day involving a rolled over tractor trailer in Grafton.)
    • A car that ran off the Mass Pike into the woods on October 2nd
    • And an October 25th rollover on Deerfoot Road north.
    • Cars vs. Walls – In September, the SPD responded to two crashes into building walls. One was a vehicle that jumped a curb, hitting a Red Roof Inn guest room wall. (No injuries reported.) The driver fled the scene. The second was an unlicensed driver who crashed into a home on Marlboro Road.

Vehicle crash on MassPike Sept 2021 (SFD on Facebook) Mass Pike October 2 (SFD on Facebook)  Rollover on Deerfoot (SFD on Facebook) ed Roof Inn wall damage from crash and Marlboro Rd crash - from SPD Facebook

Out-of-Town support

August 19 – Nursing Home Evacuation

The SFD responded “as part of a District 14 Ambulance Strike Team activation” to Sudbury’s call for aid. They assisted the evacuation of a flooded nursing home as a result of flooding. According to WBZ 4’s coverage 78 patients had to be relocated. You can learn more here.

August 30 – Responding to national needs

In response to Hurrican Ida, SFD’s Captain Mark Sadowski was mobilized to Louisiana as part of Mass Task Force 1, Urban Search and Rescue Team. It’s one of 28 national teams under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Captain Sadowski was activated as a heavy equipment rigging and water rescue specialist.

September 10 – House Fire

As I previously reported, an SFD member required medical attention resulting from the mutual aid given Northborough for a serious house fire on Maple Street.

Safety Alerts

Some of the alerts issued on Facebook related to news I’ve previously reported on. (Including a juvenile harassed and hunting season.) Although I’ve posted about the car break-ins in town and nearby, this more recent warning is worth sharing:

The Metro West Area has seen a steady number of car break-ins over the past couple of years- especially recently. We cannot stress enough; locking your vehicles and bringing your valuables inside your home is the best way to protect yourself from these types of crimes. These suspects are not using crow bars or breaking glass to get inside (which would cause noise and raise alarm). They are lifting un-locked car door handles and (because there is no noise) they have plenty of time to look around your vehicle for valuables. Residents have lost laptops, chargers, phones, money, etc. from these thefts.

Please do not approach these individuals while they are in the process of committing a crime. Last week, a Medway resident chased after a suspect that was trying to steal his car- only to be shown and threatened with a handgun once the owner got too close to the suspect’s vehicle. If you witness a break-in (or any other unusual activity), please call the Southborough Police Department as soon as possible and make sure to gather any and all important details that you can.

Southborough Police are consistently conducting extra patrols throughout town- including the side streets and neighborhoods that are less travelled. We are also working with a Joint Task Force that is made up of dedicated Law Enforcement agencies; whose goal is to find and prosecute these individuals. We would appreciate the assistance in helping to stop a number of our residents becoming victims.

If you have any information that could assist our detective unit regarding these car break-ins, we ask that you please contact Det. Steve Neivert or Lt. Ryan Newell at (508) 485-2121. Thank you.

Additional warnings told residents to beware of bears sighted in the Fayville area in October, be wary of scams related to scammers posing as bosses instructing residents to buy gift cards, and look out for trees and wires downed by a big storm in October.

Staff Comings & Goings

Since mid summer, here’s who has been welcomed to Southborough/regional staff:

In September, the SFD thanked Lieutenant James Peltier for his 34 years service and congratulated him on being hired as Dalton’s Fire Chief. (You can read about the 3rd generation firefighter here.)

Luke Soccorso Carly McKenna Julia Fontana Lisa Thompson James Peltier

Miscellaneous News

Fire Preparedness

In October, the SFD shared pics from a special Live Burn Training they participated in.

This week, they posted thanks to the community, Select Board, and the Advisory and Capital Committees for their support in acquiring the new Fire Engine Rescue Pumper. The truck replaces a 20 year old vehicle.

SFD Live Burn Training SFD new pumper

Charity & Volunteering to helping the community

Wheelchair FlagIn August, a group of Southborough Officers pitched in and bought Southborough resident, Hope Seariac, a safety flag and pole for her motorized wheelchair; so that she can maneuver around roads in town more safely.

The SPD shared information on its annual Pink Patch to support Breast Cancer Awareness and Research in October. In November, they began promoting their annual patch promoting Home Base No Shave. The fundraising post is still pinned to the top of their page:

Home Base patchHome Base No Shave, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds for Veterans of all eras, Service Members, Military Families and Families of the Fallen through world-class clinical care, wellness, education, and research. As a National Center of Excellence, Home Base operates the first and largest private-sector clinic in the nation devoted to providing life-saving clinical care and support for the treatment of the invisible wounds to include post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder, family relationship challenges and other issues associated with military service.

Every Southborough Police Department member that is taking part in this great program, will be donating $100 each to earn an exemption from the department’s facial hair policy. We have also created a camouflage version of our uniform patch, which is now for sale (for $10 a patch)- with 100% of the proceeds benefitting Home Base No Shave.

To request a patch (as seen in the photo with this FB post), please send a self-addressed stamped envelope- as well as a check for $10 per patch- made out to the Southborough Police Association, 32 Cordaville Road, Southborough, MA. 01772 (Attn: Officer Julia Fontana).

Thank you, and we hope that you will consider supporting our veterans through the Southborough Police Department’s commitment to raising money for the Home Base No Shave campaign.

*Examples of Good intent calls are “smoke” spotted that turns out to be steam or from a BBQ, or a reported gas odor that doesn’t appear to be a real problem. According to the NIRS reporting guide the category includes calls cancelled while responders are in route or if they show up to find that the injured party is no longer at the scene.

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