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Chapter 90 Enforcer
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Say it ain't so Paula!!... uh, duh!

Chief of police to address staffing

01/11/2004

By MIKE PLAISANCE Staff writer
[email protected]

SPRINGFIELD - The Police Department was "perilously short of officers" Dec. 31 when fire destroyed the Gemini Corp. building at 33 Morris St., Police Chief Paula C. Meara said.

"We almost had to call in the tactical unit," she said Wednesday.

Meara said the department's thin staffing at the time of the 4 a.m. blaze will be one detail she will deliver at a City Council committee meeting 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, Room 200l.

Meara on Friday refused to disclose the number of officers assigned per shift, as well as the nature of their assignments, citing concerns that criminal elements will use the information.

The Republican is pursuing its request for the information, as well as details about officers on sick leave, through a written request to be filed with the city Law Department.

Councilor Angelo J. Puppolo Jr. is holding a meeting of the Public Health and Safety Committee, of which he is chairman, to get an update from officials about how early retirements have affected the Police and Fire departments and when the retirees' jobs will be refilled.

Puppolo also said he will use the meeting to praise the work of firefighters on the fire at the vacant Gemini plant, a former children's clothing factory.

"I want to applaud the Fire Department for containing that fire, as well as saving the surrounding buildings," he said.

The key that persuaded Puppolo and others to support offering the most recent early retirement program, last month, was that police and fire employees be included.

Police and fire officials had said layoffs had depleted their ranks to the point they couldn't endure additional staff losses.

So the council approved the early retirement program, which is meant to save the city money by removing veteran employees' salaries from the budget.

But the approval was contingent on the city filling each vacancy created by police and fire retirements.

Of the 64 employees who took early retirement, 16 were firefighters and other Fire Department employees and five were police officers.

Mayor Charles V. Ryan has said he will fill police and firefighter vacancies he considers to be front-line positions, but with the city locked in a budget crunch, the goal will be to fill as few jobs as possible.

State funding cuts forced layoffs of about 75 police and 53 firefighters in February, though some have been brought back.

Meara said officials are ready to begin consulting a list of former Springfield officers who had been laid off to fill the retirees' jobs, although some have taken jobs in Chicopee, West Springfield, Greenfield and elsewhere.

The department has about 385 patrolmen and 100 captains, lieutenants and sergeants.

The Fire Department has 268 uniformed personnel, including 256 firefighters on the street, Deputy Fire Chief Jerrold E. Prendergast said.

The department is a few weeks into the six-week process of contacting firefighters who had been laid off to fill retirees' positions, though like police, some have found other jobs, he said.

They found other jobs? You mean they didn't sit and wait to get hired back? Nice Mayor too, "fill as few jobs as possible"... who needs Policing and Fire Protection anyway?? Polictical whacko! UNBELIEVEABLE!
 

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RPD931 said:
Meara on Friday refused to disclose the number of officers assigned per shift, as well as the nature of their assignments, citing concerns that criminal elements will use the information.

The Republican is pursuing its request for the information, as well as details about officers on sick leave, through a written request to be filed with the city Law Department
This is my favorite part. "Although we may endanger citizens lives and property in order to release some data that you probably don't care about anyway, we will continue our quest for the truth".

F*cking jerks. Because they can't have it, they have to pull an end around and print it anyway. I hate the press for stuff like this. Hey, Union-News, make sure you list all the personnel, what shifts they work and what days they are off. Hell, go ahead and print their home addresses and where their kids go to school! I mean, freedom of the press and all, right? :evil:
 

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Zombie Hunter
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You ain't kidding its short staffed! I worked New Years Eve on the Mids and driving down Main St. was like driving into a riot! There wasn't a Springfield cruiser to be seen (in all fairness, listening to SPD over the scanner, they sounded like they had their hands full at calls.). Incidently, the MSP Trooper (Tpr. Moynihan) that the Republican did their shocking parking expose on was injured during a high speed pursuit in which his car was rammed by the dirtbag's car. I hope the Republican remembers this Trooper shedding his blood for the public's safety is the same cop they were kicking the shit out of a few months ago!
 
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That Newspaper is good for my puppy to piss on, but I'd rather teach him to use the toilet than waste my money on such a rag!

MEDIA SUCKS!!!!!!
:FM:
 
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