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Policing in Massachusetts

From Chief Gary Thomann

To the Pelham Community, with many questions regarding how law enforcement operates and the perpetuated misconceptions surrounding that which are circulating, I wanted to let our residents know what we do and the realities of policing here.

Massachusetts law enforcement agencies have long been in front of the curve when it comes to the advancement of police procedures designed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens we protect.

In particular, our Massachusetts Police Officers have thoroughly embraced the six pillars of the principles embodied in the final report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and remain committed to professional conduct, democratic policing and procedural justice for all people. In response to the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs have addressed each of the pillars therein. All of our officers are required to train to current Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) standards.

Below is how each is addressed in Massachusetts:

Ban choke-holds & strangleholds - These techniques are not part of the defensive tactics curriculum as instructed by the MPTC .

Require de-escalation - Officers are required to learn de-escalation during the MPTC recruit academy training program, and further, are required to undergo additional de-escalation training during the annual in-service training programs as required by the MPTC.

Require warning before shooting - Consistent with the standards set forth in Graham v. Connor and Tennessee v. Garner, Officers may only use that level of force that is objectively reasonable based upon the totality of circumstances. Officers will always attempt to use the lowest level of force in order to effectuate the lawful objective and will attempt to warn individuals prior to using any level of force, provided that they have the time and opportunity to do so. There may be, however, some very limited instances, where it is impossible for officers to provide a warning prior to using force, such as when doing so is necessary in order to preserve human life.

Requires to exhaust all alternatives before shooting - Same as above.

Duty to intervene - All officers are trained and required to intervene when they recognize that any other officer or supervisor, of any rank, is acting contrary to the law or policy.

All officers of the Police Department are aware of their personal responsibility during a use of force encounter. Officers shall have an affirmative duty to intervene should they observe a situation in which they perceive more than the necessary use of force is being deployed by a fellow officer.

Ban shooting at moving vehicles - Officers are not permitted to shoot at a moving vehicle, except in the very limited circumstance where, consistent with the standard set forth in Graham v. Connor and Tennessee v. Garner, doing so is required to defend themselves or another when the occupants of the vehicle are employing deadly force, which the officer reasonably perceives as an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to themselves or another (including situations where the vehicle itself is being used as a deadly weapon and the officer is unable to escape the path of travel), and the officer reasonably believes that they will not endanger innocent persons. It is imperative that officers not position themselves in such a way as to create a likelihood of being struck by an occupied vehicle.

Require use of force continuum - Officers are all trained to use only that level of force objectively reasonable based upon the totality of the circumstances.

Require comprehensive reporting - Offices are required to complete a use of force report for each instance where force is used.

Respectfully,
Chief Gary Thomann
Pelham Police Department
Pelham, Massachusetts

Our statement concerning the death of George Floyd

The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, representing Police Chiefs in all 351 cities and towns and most college campuses, denounces the egregious actions taken by four members of the Minneapolis Police Department, whether by action or inaction, that resulted in the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Our Massachusetts Police Officers have thoroughly embraced the six pillars of the principles embodied in the final report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and remain committed to professional conduct, democratic policing and procedural justice for all people.

Chief Gary Thomann
Pelham Police Dept

Chief Jeff W. Farnsworth
Mass Chief’s President – 2020

March 2020

COVID-19 Notice

                                                                    **PUBLIC HEALTH NOTICE**

In accordance with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, our officers are being encouraged to practice "social distancing".  We are asking them to handle certain calls for service that don't require an immediate or in-person response over the telephone of via our online reporting system rather than responding to the scene.  If they do respond to a residence or business for a call, we are asking them to conduct their conversations and interactions with people outside if it is safe and practical to do so.  All emergency calls, crimes in progress, or incidents which require an immediate response will still be responded to and investigated by officers in-person.  Don't hesitate to call us for help, as always.

 

All Firearms licensing, as well as fingerprinting services, are suspended until further notice.

 

We will continue to evaluate conditions and adjust our response protocols as needed.  We encourage our community to look to reputable sources of information on COVID-19 to make the best decisions for yourselves, your families, and your neighbors.  All of the members of the Pelham Police Department are committed to keeping ourselves safe so we can do our best to keep you safe.

 

Any questions or concerns about these changes can be directed to Chief Gary Thomann

Past Bulletin Board Articles

Fall 2015

Scam Alert

 

Warning Pelham residents of two ongoing scams within the area.

 

1. IRS Tax Payment scam. Read more here

 

2. Eversource Engery Payment scam. Read more here

 

December 2014

 

Drive Sober PSA

The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Highway Safety Division is launching a public awareness campaign to discourage citizens of the Commonwealth from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, particularly during the holidays. This PSA will run from December 22-December 31, 2014 on major news channels.

 

We appreciate the important work of Massachusetts police departments to keeping citizens safe. In order to reach as many people as possible, the Highway Safety Division requests that you post this PSA to your town or police website and social media outlets to promote the message of "Keep the Holidays Happy. Drive Sober."

Watch PSA YouTube video here

 

October 12, 2014

Come Visit us on our

Annual Open House

Public Safety Complex Noon - 3pm

Refresments - Displays - Demonstrations

  • Fire Trucks & Police Cars

  • Meet Firefighters & Police Officers

  • Tour of Station

  • And more!

August 2014

 

IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive Telephone Scam

Pelham residents reporting that they are also being scammed. Click Here to read the article.

February 2014

Pelham Police in the News

Large Drug bust during vehicle stop

Read here

January 2014

Cold Weather TIPS issued by MEMA (click here to open)

August 8, 2013

Town of Pelham at Moderate Risk For Triple EEE

 

Office of Board of Health

Pelham, Massachusetts

 

 

The Town of Pelham has been designated at Moderate Risk for

Eastern Equine Encephalitis

 

Important Information about Protecting Yourself and Family Kids from Mosquito-Borne Illness

 

The Department of Public Health and the Pelham Board of Health is urging residents who live in areas of elevated risk to take personal protective measures to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

  • Children are at greater risk from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) than from West Nile virus (WNV).

  • Risk for mosquito-borne illness will continue until the first hard frost in your area. Hard frosts occur when temperatures fall below 28 degrees for several hours.

  • Use mosquito repellent any time you are outdoors, such as waiting for the bus, walking to school or during outdoor sports practices. Even being out a short time can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. Make sure to follow directions on the label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used only in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

  • Be aware of mosquitoes around you. If mosquitoes are biting you, reapply repellent, or think about going inside.

  • Be aware of peak mosquito hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning.

  • Use mosquito netting on baby carriages or playpens when your baby is outdoors.

  • When weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.

  • Make sure screens are repaired and are tightly attached to doors and windows.

  • Remove standing water from places like ditches, gutters, old tires, wheel barrows, and wading pools. Mosquitoes can begin to grow in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days, so don’t let water collect around your home.

  • Avoid camping overnight near freshwater swamps to reduce your risk of exposure to mosquitoes that carry the EEE virus. If you do go camping, use a tent with mosquito netting and use appropriate repellents.

  • For additional information contact your

    local health department or go to:

    mass.gov/dph/wnv

April 2013​​
​Officer Sean Collier Memorial
​The Pelham Police Department attended the Memorial Service for Officer Sean Collier at MIT this week with thousands of other Police Officers from both all over the world. The outpouring of support for a fellow fallen officer was evident this past week. Officer from Europe, Canada and throughout the United States all made their way to Boston to show their respect to Officer Collier who made the ultimate sacrifice last week. For photos of the service, please visit our "Photo" section of the website.

 

January 2013
​​​In the News
Chief Thomann recently provided an interview to 22 News concerned Pelham PD's new Online Reporting System.  Chief Thomann urged the Select Board to purchase the Online Reporting System from San Ramon, CA based company, Coplogic last fall. Coplogic implemented the system with the department in December and just launched in early January 2013. Citizens are now able to file minor reports that involve not only Police, but the Highway Department and Animal Control Officer as well. Although the system is not intended for Emergency reports, a number of report types are now easily accessible for the public. To file a report, please click on the "File Online Report" link at the top of this page. To view the interview Chief Thomann provided to 22 News, please click here.