History of the Granby Massachusetts Police Department
Chief Louis M. Barry in celebration of the Department’s 50th Anniversary, in the year 2000. Updated by: Chief Alan Wishart, Sergeant Kevin O’Grady, and Chief Louis Barry (ret.) 2015
Record of the Special Town Meeting
October 26, 1950:
“In accordance with the foregoing warrant, the inhabitants of Granby qualified to vote in elections and Town affairs, met at the Granby School Auditorium at 8:00pm and voted as follows:
Meeting was called to order by Moderator
Town Clerk read the Warrant
Recess for 10 minutes for a quorum…”
Voted to accept Section 97 of Chapter 41 of the General Laws enabling the establishment of a Police Department
Upon passage of the Town Meeting Article that established the Granby Police Department, the Board of Selectmen, comprised of Jacob Merrill, John P. Malone, and Rene Fortier, appointed Mr. William Cloutier, Granby’s first Chief of Police, on December 22, 1950.
GRANBY’S FIRST CHIEF OF POLICE WILLIAM CLOUTIER
Chief Cloutier was joined the following year by part-time officers Ed Martin and Dwight Tucker. In 1951 the Police budget was $1000. They had no vehicle, no radios, and no equipment. The Chief’s home served as the Police Station. In their first year the Department issued 21 citations and investigated 7 accidents.
In the 1952 Annual Report Chief Cloutier thanked The St. Hyacinth Seminary for allowing the Department to use the baseball diamond for a Police sponsored baseball team. He also notes the School Committee has allowed use of the auditorium (upstairs in Kellogg Hall) for its boys’ basketball program two nights a week.
In 1953, the Police Association was formed and the Department purchased its first radio.
In 1954 George Randall became Chief of Police. He notes in his annual report how valuable the Department’s radio was, stating ” it was used to call the ambulance in South Hadley”, helped in several arrests, and helped communicate with Western Mass Electric Company during hurricanes Carol and Edna. He also states “the Department is made up of 22 men, 5 constables and 17 special police officers. Ten of the men have uniforms which they purchased themselves.” In 1954 Phyllis Lalonde was appointed as the first female member of the Department.
In 1956 The Department purchased its first Police Cruiser, The purchase price was $2489.
Chief George Randall and Granby’s first Police Cruiser
The purchase did not come without controversy. The residents voted at a February Town meeting to purchase the vehicle. A petition was circulated and presented to the Selectmen with 161 names to re-vote the Article. In a special April Town meeting the vote came out the same and the cruiser was purchased. There were 1166 registered voters at the time.
The Town of Granby continued to grow, and with it so did its Police Department. On February 23, 1957, William W. Gallup became Chief of Police, and also became the Town’s first full-time police officer. Chief Gallup continued to work out of his home, and was assisted by numerous “special” police officers.
Granby Police Department circa 1968 Front row-L to R Former Chief William Gallup, Dwight Tucker, Eugene Bissell, Eugene Rimbold, Chief of Police George Randall. Middle row: Myron Ingham, Adleard Fournier, Joe Lajoie and Edmund Robert. Back row: Ed Martin, Wilfred Loiselle, Robert Noble, and John A Baker.
Radio calls were answered by Mr. & Mrs. Robert H. Dressel, who, as recognized by Chief Gallup in 1959… “In addition to manning our two-way radio from their service station, they now operate our own town ambulance…”.
1960’s police patrols were limited to three nights each week, along with some special patrols. Church Traffic was supervised by regular and auxiliary police who donated their services
By 1964, there were patrols out every night of the week, as well as during the daytime.
In 1966, the “special police officers” were re-designated as part-time police officers, and ranks were established. On February 1, 1967 Chief John R. Kirchhof was appointed to replace the retiring Chief, Bill Gallup. Chief Kirchhof established the first official “police station”, a room in Town Hall, later used by the Board of Health.
He notes in his annual report that the department is run weekdays directly from the new “headquarters”… He also mentions that currently under construction is a building which will give the Department larger office space, a lock-up and vehicle garage space. For some reason this building, the former Highway Department to the rear of Town Hall , was never occupied by the Police, and the Department remained in the one room office for two more years.
In 1968, the Department reorganized. All former ranks, with the exception of Chief, were eliminated. Two full-time police officers were appointed from the part-time ranks, Lieutenant Adelard Fournier and Patrolman Raymond A. Bergeron.
In 1969, the Department re-located to the basement of the Town Hall. Funds for materials were appropriated and the renovations were done by the officers who donated their time. There were still times when the Department was not staffed, and officers had to be called in from their homes in an emergency. In 1970, the Department purchased its first complete radio system as the result of a federal grant.
Throughout the 1960’s and the 1970’s, the Department relied heavily on part-time officers. Dwight Tucker, a veteran part-time officer, was added to the full time force in 1971.
During that year, Chief Kirchhof received his college degree. All other full-time officers were attending college under a Federal Grant program, and Ptl. Tucker graduated from the six week Springfield Police Academy.
All officers attended a State Police Radar course, and were certified as qualified traffic radar operators. The Department purchased its first radar unit that year. 1971 was also the year in which the Town had its first homicide “in recent memory”. A suspect was in custody and awaiting trial at the time of the annual report.
In 1972, Ptl. William Galipeau was added to the force, bringing the number of full-time officers to five. The Annual Report also mentions that Patrolman Bergeron was elected President of the Western Massachusetts Safety Officers Association. The report also states that “The Mass. Department of Transportation” has installed stop signs at every Rte. 202 intersection.
In 1973, the Department added part-time Patrolmen Medard Viens and David Trompke to the full-time staff bringing the number of officers to seven. Through a Federal Grant, the Department, with the assistance of the Massachusetts Police Institute, drew up its first formal rules and regulations. Also, School Zone lights were installed due to a State Grant.
In 1975, the Department became a true “full-time” police Department, with patrols around the clock, and the station open 24 hours per day.
In 1976, the Department purchased its first breathalyzer unit through a State Grant. The Department also received a base radio and three mobile radio units which allowed communication to 24 other Departments in the Pioneer Valley. This system, (known as WMLEC) is still in use today.
In 1978, the Department members, with the exception of the Chief and Lieutenant joined a Union, Local 321 of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, to which they still belong. An Additional officer was also added to the force, bringing the force up to eight full-time officers.
Granby Town Hall ( Kellogg Hall) the first “home” of the Police Station.
Originally located in the front corner of the building, first floor, just to the right of the chimney.
Later moved to the basement where the entrance was in the rear of the building.
In 1980, Chief Kirchhof noted that there was a large turnover in personnel, “within the past few years”. Carol Dent was hired to replace Cathy Camp, who retired for her positon as secretary/dispatcher, and several Auxiliary officers were promoted to the part-time force.
In 1981, the Police Department took over the responsibility of answering the Fire Department emergency phone. Chief Kirchhof stresses in his Annual Report that the basement of the Town Hall, home of the Police Station, is inadequate for the Police Department. He also mentions that officers are often on patrol by themselves.
Turnover in personnel continued to be a problem with the Department. Six officers left in 1982. In August of 1982 Nathan Swistak was hired as a Full-time Dispatcher and Part-Time Patrolman. The Chief again notes the inadequate facility and the lack of manpower as conditions that the Department must operate in.
In 1984, an additional officer was added to the Police Department. Ptl. Roger Tucker and Ptl. Wilfred Merullo attended the Police Academy, run by the State Police, which was thirteen weeks long.
In 1985, Chief John Kirchhof announced that he was resigning his position as Chief of Police, in order to accept a position as Chief in the Town of Wilbraham. Lt. Galipeau and Sgt. Gay both retired. The Department, therefore, lost its entire command staff within one year. Patrolman Swistak completed the 5th MPOC in Agawam and became a Full-time Patrolman.
In 1986, Normand Renaud was appointed Acting Chief of Police. Roger Tucker, who had been promoted to the rank of Sergeant, left his position also to go on to Wilbraham. Ted Smigiel and Wilfred Merullo were named acting sergeants to assist in running the Department. Ptl. Chris Prononvost was hired as a full-time officer, and he attended the full-time police academy located at Agawam.
The American Legion donated a video camera to record the booking of prisoners. Funds were appropriated to remodel the basement and to purchase the Department first computer/teletype system.
In 1986, The Department lost a valuable member. Special Officer/Criminalist Warren Messenger passed away. His expertise in photography and forensic prints was greatly missed.
In 1986, The Select Board also appointed a Police Advisory Board to help in the hiring selection process. This Board has proven to be invaluable to the Department in maintaining a high quality level. They are utilized for hiring and promotions, and interview and recommend to the Board on appointments. Through the years, the Town has been fortunate to have excellent membership on this Board.
In 1987, after a yearlong search, Louis M. Barry was hired as the Town’s new Police Chief. He came from the Orleans Police Department where he had served 11 years as a patrolman, Detective and Sergeant. Ted Smigiel was named Sergeant, and Normand Renaud returned to his Lieutenant’s position. The Department was linked to the “outside world” after the installation of the teletype. In May of 1987 Ptl. Swistak left the Police Department to take a Full-time Patrolman/ EMT position at the Longmeadow Police Department. The Chief notes that arrests were up over one hundred from the previous year.
By the end of 1987 the staff of the Police Department was as follows:
Louis M. Barry, Chief of Police
Normand Renaud, Lieutenant
Theodore Smigiel, Sergeant
David Trompke, Patrolman
Wilfred Merullo, Patrolman
William Eskett, Patrolman
Christopher Pronovost, Patrolman
Tom Robert , Patrolman
Carol Dent, Secretary/Dispatcher
Chief Louis M. Barry
In 1988, the Department was awarded $8,200 grant for the purchase of computer equipment. Lynn Menard was hired as a full-time dispatcher, replacing Jeannette Peltier.
The Town also began the DARE Program in the East Meadow School, being one of the first in Western Massachusetts to do so. This Drug Education program was taught by Officer Chris Pronovost.
1988 also saw the establishment of the Town’s first Detective position. David Trompke was given this assignment. Dennis Laplante was hired as a full-time officer and attended the Barnstable County Police Academy. Dennis was placed in Charge of the Auxiliary Police and they purchased their own cruiser for training purposes. The majority of our officers, full and part-time, began their careers with that organization.
Carlos Alcaide, and Rich Beaulieu were added to the part-time force. Bill Glenny retired.
In 1989 the Department began to feel the fiscal crunch brought about by Proposition 2 ½. Training was curtailed by the Criminal Justice training council. The DARE Program was cut from the budget, fortunately to be saved by private donations. Officer Dennis Laplante left for another agency. Due to the bleak financial condition of the Town, his position was not filled. Larry Carmen , Ron Molway and Ron Smigiel all joined the part-time force. Diane Woznicki and Mary Anne Bellrose were matrons.
The Department began a Juvenile Diversion Program; offering a non-court alternative to youthful, first time offenders. The Department also subscribed to LETN, a satellite based training system.
In 1990, all Court Cases originating in the Town of Granby were moved to the Ware District Court, due to an act by the Legislature. Brothers Dan and Bill Menard were hired as part-time officers.
Through a donation by the American Legion, the Department purchased its first fax machine. Ptl. Pronovost left the Department, to go to the Amherst Police Department. His position as DARE officer was filled by Ptl. Mike Kotowski. Mike attended the 16 week Academy in Agawam. In 1991, budget problems continued to haunt the Department. Two override votes were defeated. 96 hours of police coverage were eliminated. The Juvenile Diversion program was eliminated. Safety and Crime Prevention programs were curtailed. Union concessions were needed just to keep patrols on a 24 hour basis.
On the more positive side, negotiations with the Commonwealth for the Department to occupy a building on West State Street were underway. Rhonda Haska became matron
Detective Dave Trompke poses with some seized marijuana plants, (1992)
In 1992, the Department again faced a fiscal crisis. This time an override vote passed, allowing the Department to maintain patrols around the clock. Mike Kotowski resigned to accept a position with the Chicopee Police Department. Dan Menard was hired to replace him and attended the Academy in Agawam. Tara Menard was appointed a matron.
The Town voted, at a special Town Meeting, to appropriate $40,000 to renovate a State owned building as a new (temporary) Police Department. The building was a former dinosaur museum, located at 194 West State Street. The building had been constructed by the owner of the property after discovering dinosaur tracks on the property. He ran it as a combination museum/coffee shop. Ultimately the property was sold to the state. The former residence was occupied by State employees, and the museum was partially renovated and was used as an office. The intention was to re-open the property as a working museum. A shortage of funds prevented the conversion, and the property was declared “excess”. A ten year rent-free lease was negotiated between the State and Town to use the building as a “temporary” Police Station.
In 1993, renovations on the building began. Students from the Lower Pioneer Valley Hampshire Educational Collaborative provided the carpentry help and landscaping. Pathfinder High students did the electrical work. Officers, their families, and volunteers did much of the finish work; painting, and built an addition. Furniture was donated by Heritage Bank. A flagpole was donated by the Telephone Company. The Highway Department did excavation work, and constructed the parking areas.
Memorial Day Parade
From Left: Sgt. Ted Smigiel- behind him Ptl. Larry Carmen, Chief Louis Barry (white shirt) – partially hidden is Ptl Dan Menard, Ron Smigiel, Ptl. Bob Dufault, Sgt, William Eskett, and Ptl. Steve Szlosek. As well as members of the Auxiliary Department
On November 30, 1993, the Department moved into its new facility, with Ptl. Steve Flanagan on the dispatch desk. Ownership of the building remained with the State.
Joining the part-time Department that year was Tim Brock, Mike Chevalier Sr, Steve Flanagan, Fran Foley and Mike Ulmer.
Dare Officers Dan Menard and Larry Carmen with their DARE Volleyball Program
In 1994, a grant provided by the State allowed us to begin DARE related activities outside of the core program. In the summer, a volleyball program was held at Brown Ellison Park. The Department also began TRIAD, forming a S.A.L.T. Council (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together), in cooperation with the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and Protective Services. Ptl. Dan Menard and Ptl. Larry Carmen were the Department’s DARE officers.
Scenes from the first SALT Cookout 1994
From left : Mark Smith (pink shirt) Ptl. Fran Foley, Ptl. Steve Flanagan,
Secretary /Dispatcher Carol Dent, Leslie Dent, TRIAD intern
In 1995, after what seemed like an eternity of delays, the Town received enhanced 9-1-1 service. This allowed the Department to see the address of any 9-1-1 call placed to the station on a display screen. Al Wishart was hired as a part-time dispatcher.
The Department received a $75,000 grant from the Justice Department to hire an additional full-time police officer. We also received $15,000 to re-furbish our computer system, and a $6,000 DARE Grant. In addition, $15,000 was received in Community Policing Funds.
Ptl Wayne Sedlak gives a crime prevention demonstration
The Community Policing money was used for training, and crime prevention efforts. Also held was the first annual Police/Senior Citizen cookout, which was a great success.
The DARE Program also held its first annual basketball camp in the summer. Almost 200 attended this two week program. In addition, it sponsored a summer basketball team for High School youth, an after school hiking club, and a volleyball program.
The entire Town was saddened by the loss of two of our Town Officials. Pat Masiuk, (Town Clerk) and Ray Randall (Town Counsel). Mike Chevalier was hired through a grant as a full-time officer.
New part-time officers included: AL Wishart, Joe Reidy, and Mark Smith.
1996, the new computer system was up and running. The Department went “on-line” with a website developed by a Patrolman Bill Eskett. Community policing money was used to train senior citizens in the use of computers and the Internet as part of our SALT program. DARE activities included the Basketball Camp and after School activities as well as team sponsorships.
Officers Wishart and O’Grady at a bike rodeo sponsored by the Lions Club
The Department was also designated as a Pilot Town for the Safe Roads Program. This program allowed us to receive enforcement grants for seat belts, speeding and other MV Law enforcement.
The Town adopted the “Quinn Bill” which reimburses the Town fifty percent for the funds they pay the officers for receiving college degrees. The Department also worked in conjunction with the Playground commission and the High School, to revitalize the basketball court outside the High School.
Bill Glover, Robert Ash, Kellie Cournoyer, and Kevin O’Grady joined the Department as part-time officers.
In 1997, the Department continued its active Community policing role. DARE Camp and team sponsorships, the annual Police/Senior citizen cookout, and TRIAD, were just a few of its activities. Al Wishart became a full-time officer.
The Department also began a School Resource officer program. Ptl. Alan Wishart, the Town’s DARE officer, started in the High School one day per week, as a resource to faculty, administration and students.
Ptl. Carpenter and some Trick or Treaters
In 1998, the School Resource Officer position was expanded to two days per week. The DARE Program continued to sponsor youth sports, and Community Policing money was used to re-build two basketball courts behind the East Meadow School, in conjunction with the School Department.
In 1999, the Town received a grant worth over $100,000 to fund a full-time School Resource Officer position. Ptl. Mark Smith was hired to fill this position. The Department continued to work closely with our youth, sponsoring winter basketball teams, baseball, spring soccer, and many after-school activities.
Wade Dubois, and Barbara Fenn became part-time officers.
The Department also collaborated with the School Department on a “Saturday School Program” for the students with academic, truancy, or behavioral issues. In the year 2000, Our Police Department’s 50thAnniversary was celebrated on October 20, 2000 at the Chateau Provost in Chicopee. Many Plaques, awards, and citations were received by the Department.
Gary Poehler became a part-time officer, as did Kevin Irving.
The “New Millennium” came and went without incident, (although some say it didn’t arrive until 2001. The Department’s DARE and School Resource Officer Programs continued to be a success. Our sixth annual basketball camp was held that summer, as was the annual Police/Senior Cookout.
The Department offered RAD (Rape Aggression defense) classes to women in town.
The Department continued its commitment to youths, sponsoring a summer basketball league, seven winter teams, nine summer league teams, Mickey Mantle Baseball, Saturday School, Open Gym, various after school activities, and an upcoming weight training program.
The Department also re-instituted our juvenile diversion program; there was an up to date, networked computer system, Mobile Data Terminals in the cruisers and Enhanced 9-1-1. All officers are issued bullet proof vests. The Police Association, as the result of a generous donation, purchased brand new Glock .40 caliber handguns for each Officer.
The year 2000 also saw the retirement of long time Department member Lt. Normand Renaud. Lt. Renaud ended a career which had begun in 1979. During that time period he had served as a patrolman, the Department’s court officer, a Lieutenant, and as Acting Chief.
A federal grant was received allowing us to fill 5 part-time dispatch positions.
Mike Roney was hired as a part-time dispatcher. We continued our community policing efforts, with the DARE Camp, SALT picnic, sponsorship of basketball and baseball teams and soccer teams. We offered RAD classes a ski trip, and after school activities.
Ptl. Poehler supervises a kidRAD Class
Ptl. Bob Ash “recovering” from a kidRAD class
In 2001, long-time day shift dispatcher/secretary Carol Dent retired. Carol had been the “daytime voice” of the Department for many years. She also conducted sexual assault investigations for the Department. Lynn Menard, the M-8 dispatcher, moved to the day shift, and Mike Roney was hired full-time as the M-8 dispatcher.
Barbara Fenn was hired as a full-time officer, filling the position opened when LT. Renaud retired. She became Granby’s first full-time female police officer.
Jeff Reed and Kurt Carpenter were hired as part-time officers. Charlene Fernandes, Amanda Jackson and Jason Richard were hired as part-time dispatchers.
The retirement of Lt. Renaud left a void in the management of the Department. Rather than promote a new Lieutenant, the decision was made to promote two individuals to the rank of Sergeant. Bill Eskett and Al Wishart were the two officers promoted.
The Department received a three year $50,000 New Horizons for Youth Grant to provide after school programs for our youth. We continued to offer DARE, and other community based programs.
It was noted in the annual report that the somewhat rural, scenic nature of the Town did not make us exempt from crime. That year saw a gang rape of a 14 year old girl, an armed home invasion, and an armed robbery, where shots were fired.
The Events of 9/11 also impacted the Town. There were many complaints of suspicious packages and security near Westover was increased.
A proposed Municipal Complex, which would have included a new Police facility, was defeated at Town Meeting. An extension was requested for the lease of the state building.
In 2002 The Commonwealth voted an early retirement bill. The measure was accepted by the Town, and as a result the Department lost several longtime members. Det. David Trompke, Wayne Sedlak, Sergeant Ted Smigiel, and Patrolman Wilfred Merullo all took advantage of the opportunity and retired. Dennis Fitzgerald became a part-time dispatcher.
Ptl. Mark Smith became the Departments new Detective. Kevin Irving became the Departments new School Resource Officer. He was the first African-American officer hired by the Town.
Part-time officers Bob Ash, Gary Poehler, and Kurt Carpenter became full-time officers. Officer Fenn graduated from the academy and took over as the sexual assault investigator; Mike Roney became a part-time officer. His dispatch position was filled by Amanda Jackson. Part-time dispatchers Dennis Fitzgerald and Jason Richard became part-time officers. Sean Rooney and Shawn Gallagher became part-time dispatchers. Ptl. Mike Chevalier was injured on duty, and was out on extended injury leave. Jeff Reed became a part-time police officer.
The DARE funding was eliminated, jeopardizing the program and the summer basketball camp. Fortunately fundraisers were held to keep these programs going — at least temporarily.
In what seems to be a re-occurring theme, 2003 budget cuts required that 5 part-time shifts be eliminated. Ptl. Irving resigned his position. Ptl. Poehler graduated from the academy, and Ptl Kurt Carpenter replaced Ptl. Kevin Irving as the SRO. Through grants the Department purchased defibrillators for each cruiser. Ptl. Sean Rooney and Shawn Gallagher joined the part-time Department. Ptl. Richards was called to active duty and was deployed to Iraq.
The Departments radio communication problems were finally solved by placing a repeater on a cell tower in Town. The Fire and Highway Departments also utilize the tower.
The Department court cases were transferred to Hadley District Court.
Ptl Kevin O’Grady was hired as a full-time officer. Dispatcher Amanda Jackson became a part-time police officer. John Ferriter was hired to replace her as a full-time dispatcher. Part-time officer Fran Foley moved south and Part-time Officer Dennis Fitzgerald became a full-time Belchertown officer. Mike Roney also left for Belchertown PD. Sean Rooney, Mike Reyes, Jeff Lawson, and Wayne Mark became part-time officers. Amber Dubois and Bonnie Tetreault were hired as part-time dispatchers Bonnie took a leave due to a college trip and Peter Lantaigne was hired to fill her position. Officer Fenn became the Departments court officer.
Community policing grants allowed us to maintain our equipment and continue our programs. Private fund raising supported DARE. That year we initiated a Citizens Police academy and a summer Cheer Camp for girls.
In 2005 the Department suffered a great loss in the passing of 23 year old part-time officer Amanda Jackson, who died of liver cancer. Retired Ptl Wayne Sedlak and former part-time officer Richard Hooper also passed away of cancer. All are sorely missed, but not forgotten.
Mike Chevalier received a job related disability pension due to an injury he received in the line of duty. Ptl. Jason Richard, who returned to us safely after a tour in Iraq, was hired as his replacement. Joining the department as part-time officers were Steve Marion, Ian Howard, Tom Yvon. Part-time dispatcher James White was also hired.
The Department also purchased its first K-9. After some success utilizing State Police narcotic detection dogs in the schools the idea was brought forth to purchase our own non-aggressive narcotic detection dog to use in the school along with the SRO. After a very brief but highly successful fund raising effort, $6500 was raised and” Ralph” was purchased from Tarheel Kennel in North Carolina. SRO Kurt Carpenter went for training and Ralph was introduced into the schools.
His presence has virtually eliminated narcotics from our schools. In addition, he patrols with his handler and had made over 100 ” hits” resulting in drug seizures, and arrests. He is trained to detect marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
Patrolman Kurt Carpenter and RALPH
During 2005, Mark Smith was promoted to the position of Sergeant. Barbara Fenn became the Department’s Detective, and Kevin O’Grady became the Departments Court Officer.
In 2006 James White became a part-time officer. Bonnie Tetreault returned from leave. Due to budget cuts, the School resource officer funding was eliminated from the school budget after having been funded by prop 2 1 /2 over ride 2 years earlier. This position was, however, restored on a part-time basis, through the efforts of the Town Administrator and the cooperation of the Schools.
A Secure our Schools grant paid for the purchase of an ID system to use throughout the Town as well as security improvements to the schools. Community policing funds continued to pay for various programs.
In 2007 Sergeant Eskett announced his retirement. Part-time officers Wayne Wilson and Irene Golfieri also retired and part-time officer Wayne Mark left the Department. Paul Anderson, Diane Jensen, Earl Brown, and Eric Jorgensen were hired as part-time officers.
The Town also received new 9-1-1 equipment with GPS capability, a grant for surveillance equipment, and community policing grant which pays for programs and equipment replacement.
The Town also reactivated the public safety building committee with Police Chief Barry and Fire Chief Russ Anderson as ex officio members. In a short period of time this committee made excellent progress towards a new facility. The Police Department applied for a grant through a State Program and received over $83,000 toward the project. At the end of 2007, the Town voted to appropriate one million dollars as partial funding of a new public safety facility.
During 2008 Kevin O’Grady was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Ptl. Jason Richard was named as the new Court Officer. In 2009 Sergeant Alan Wishart was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
The Department then consisted of the Chief of Police, 1 lieutenant, two sergeants, a detective, a court officer, and 20 patrolman ( full and part-time) as well as two full-time and three part-time civilian dispatchers.. One of the patrolmen is the School Resource Officer, and one is the Department’s Drug K-9 handler. We had 4 marked cruisers, one unmarked, and a 4wd vehicle.
The Public Safety Building Committee received, at a Town Meeting, an additional 5.6 million in funds, from the Municipal Building Account, and the project moved forward. The Building committee consisted of: James Trompke, Lillian Camus, Wilfred Merullo, Bill Parent, and Ed Parker. Chief Barry and Chief Anderson are non-voting members. Various Police, Fire and Public Safety Departments in the area were visited in the spring of 2008. An architect, Kaestle Boos, was hired and plans were drawn during the summer of 2008.
ALDRICH FIELD- Site of the new Public Safety Facility
Planning Board approval was sought, and as per state requirements, an owner’s Project Manager (Pinnacle One) was hired. The tedious, and often times frustrating municipal building construction procedure was followed. Fontaine Brothers from Springfield MA was hired as the “general contractor”.
During the winter months the plans were re-drawn once again to ensure that the project stayed within the allotted funds. The project was put out to bid, and finally, on June 5th, 2009, ground was broken for the new facility
Ground breaking ceremony June 5, 2009
(foreground- Jim Trompke, Building Committee Chairman, Mary McDowell, Chairman,
Board of Selectmen, Selectman Wayne Tack, Building Committee Members, Bill Parent ,
Bill Merullo, Ed Parker and Lillian Camus standing by the Truck are State Representative Ellen Story (left),
and members of the Fire Department)
Construction continued and the facility was completed in the summer of 2010
Some Department Members ( 2010)- Foreground: Det. Barbara Fenn
Rear row l-r Sgt. Mark Smith, Sgt. Kevin O’Grady, Ptl. Jeff Reed, Ptl. James White, Ptl. Jason Richard, Lt. Al Wishart
On July 14, 2010, we re-located to our new facility at 259 A East State Street. The 18,000 square foot Public Safety Complex was constructed by Fontaine Brothers Inc. Project architect was Kaestle Boos Assoc. and the Owners Project Manager was Arcadis. The facility cost 6.7 Million Dollars to construct. An open house was scheduled for 9/11/2010.
On September 11, 2010, an open house was held at the new facility. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony, completed by the Board of Selectmen, and short speeches by Senator Candaras and Rep. Ellen Storey. A memorial bench dedicated in memory of Elbert C. Aldrich ( donor of the land) was also uncovered. There was a brief tribute to the heroes of 9/11 complete with the release of several white doves.
Hundreds of residents, friends, and invited guests then toured the facility. Refreshments were provided, Smokey the Bear and Sparky the fire dog were present. The Hampshire County Sheriff’s Department did iris scanning for children. Ralph, the Department drug dog, did continuous demos.
Chief Barry on his final day of duty September 11, 2010
9/11 marked another chapter in the Department History. in addition to the open house., it was the final day for Chief Louis M. Barry who retired after 35 years as a police officer, including 23 as Granby’s Chief. Lt. Alan Wishart was named acting Chief.
In March 2011 Officer Jason Richard was activated and sent to serve our Country in Afghanistan. At this time, the Select Board approved the hiring of a new full-time officer, to fill the position left open upon Chief Barry’s retirement. Part-time Officer Steve Marion was hired as the new full-time officer, and took over the Court duties while Officer Richard was deployed.
In March the department also lost a long-time member of the department, who had retired in 2001, Carol Dent passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. In June Part-time Officers Thomas Yvon and James LaFlamme left the department to pursue full-time careers. Officer Yvon went to the Vernon Connecticut Police Department and Officer LaFlamme went to the Erving Massachusetts Police Department. With the departure of these officers the department hired three part-time officers. Jeff Lawson and Wayne Mark came back to the Department and Jaime Scott-Smith was the third officer hired. Part-time Dispatcher Therese Fagnant was promoted to Full-Time Dispatcher.
On July 14th, 2011 Chief of Police Alan P. Wishart Jr. was sworn in as the Chief of Police at a ceremony held at the Granby Senior Center.
(Chief Wishart during swearing in ceremony)
In October of 2011 Officer Yvon returned to the Department as a Part-time Officer. Officer Scott-Smith resigned from the Department in October as well. In December of 2011 Ryan Senecal was hired as a Part-time Police Officer.
In January of 2012 Officer Richard returned safely from his deployment. In February Officer Marion began the Full-Time Police Academy in Springfield. In March Officer Gary Poehler was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
In 2013, RALPH, the Departments first K-9, “retired” to a life of playing Frisbee with Ptl. Carpenters children. Also retiring in 2013 was Mike Ulmer, a long time part-time officer. Mike remained with the Department as an Auxiliary. Construction on the police department sally port got underway. The plan for the sally port, a secure garage, included utilizing Pathfinder High School students to complete the bulk of the work.
In January of 2014 the police department’s dispatch center was awarded accreditation from it’s dispatch protocol provider. The accreditation involved a multifaceted review of protocols, procedures and standards of care used in the dispatch center. In March Dispatcher Therese (Fagnant) Roman left the Department for a job in the private sector. Lori Hebert was hired as a Full-time Dispatcher. In July of 2014 Sergeant Mark Smith left the Department and became the Chief of Police in Hinsdale, Ma. In August 2014 Ryan Senecal was hired as a full-time police officer and Michelle Palmieri was hired as a part-time police officer. In September 2014 Steve Marion was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Steve Szlosek, another long term part - timer, retired from the Department.
In January 2015 Patrolman Robert Ash announced his retirement from the Department after nearly 17 years of service. Sean Rooney was hired as the newest full-time officer. Matthew Paquette was hired as a full-time Dispatcher. Matt left shortly thereafter to accept a position with the Chicopee Police Department. He was replaced by full-time Dispatcher Beth Dunnigan. Kendall Hill joined the Department as a part-time Officer. Although the make-up of the Police Advisory Board has changed throughout the years. They have continued to be invaluable in the police selection process.
The department began providing the Life Skills program to students at the East Meadow School. The program replaced the DARE program. The collaborative program is taught by police, teachers and other students.
The construction of the sally port was finally completed. The final cost, just under $100,000, equaled approximately 1/3 of the original estimate for its construction. The savings was largely due to the use of Pathfinder High School students to complete the work.
Note: Much of the information contained herein came from the Annual Police Department report and recollection of members.
If you see any inaccurate information please contact us.