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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Federal agent is next chief in Southwick
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
By TED LaBORDE
[email protected]

SOUTHWICK - The Board of Selectmen selected U.S. Secret Service agent and former Southwick police officer John J. Mazza as chief of police last night, contingent upon contract negotiations.

Mazza, a police officer here for 11 years before leaving in 2000 to join the Secret Service, succeeds Henry F. Labombard, who is scheduled to retire at the end of the month.

The unanimous appointment did not sit well with department members, nor Labombard.

"Mazza is an excellent candidate," Labombard said. "But I think the selectmen made a mistake." The local police union and Labombard supported newly appointed Lt. David A. Ricardi. The union sent a letter outlining its endorsement of Ricardi to selectmen last month.

Mazza said last night he is honored by the appointment. "I will do my best to serve the town well and carry on the accomplishments of the chiefs before me," he said in a telephone interview. Labombard said during the search process that promotions from within are important to small police departments like Southwick's.

"Ricardi is dedicated to Southwick and the Police Department," Labombard said. "This is a slap in the face and it will hurt morale. The selectmen did not act in the best interest of the department nor the town. They made a bad decision."

Union representatives indicated that a statement on Mazza's appointment will be forthcoming. They said a general membership meeting will be called before the statement is issued.

Selectmen David A. St. Pierre, Fred B. Arnold and Arthur Pinell said their decision was a tough one, but each agreed that Mazza's experience led to their choice.

"We struggled," said St. Pierre, the selectmen chairman. "It was the outside experience. The board felt it was important to bring outside experience into the department."

Pinell said that in addition to the interview process, selectmen "reviewed thousands of pages of reference and recommendation letters. All candidates were qualified but because of the needs of the town Mazza was the best fit."

Retired Lt. Robert Laughlin charged the decision "is based on friendships, not qualifications. Mazza has no management skills."

Ricardi was appointed lieutenant in April to succeed Laughlin, who retired in December. Mazza, Ricardi and Wilbraham Sgt. Mark J. Krynicki, a former Vermont State Police officer, were selected as finalists for the job and interviewed two weeks ago. Mazza's appointment is subject to a physical examination, successful salary negotiations and a one-year probation period. The posted salary range for the new chief is $77,000 to $85,000.

I know John. I have worked with him at the olympics and back in MA. He was the perfect choice for the job and I know a lot of peple are going to be happy with the progressive changes he will make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Part 2

New police chief takes over July 1
Thursday, June 10, 2004
By TED LaBORDE
[email protected]

SOUTHWICK - Police Chief Henry F. Labombard will officially retire June 30, and new Chief John J. Mazza hopes to begin his duties July 1.

"That may be a little aggressive," Mazza said yesterday. "But that is the target date."

Mazza, a former Southwick police officer who resigned in 2000 to join the Secret Service, was the unanimous choice of the three-member Board of Selectmen Monday to succeed Labombard.

That appointment touched off emotional outbursts from department members, who were upset selectmen did not promote from within the department.

Newly promoted Lt. David A. Ricardi was one of three finalists for the chief's position. The third candidate was Wilbraham Sgt. Mark J. Krynicki.

Mazza said yesterday he understands the emotions of Monday night, adding "it is human nature to resist change. There is always a little excitement and a little fear."

Local 384 of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, which represents the town's 15-member Police Department, and Labombard had lobbied selectmen to appoint Ricardi as chief.

Mazza said yesterday he will work diligently to overcome any issue resulting from the appointment.

"I realize it was an emotional issue. People I respect greatly are involved and these same people feel passionately about their careers," the new chief said.

Mazza said he plans to meet with each member of the Southwick Police Department "individually as soon as possible" after his appointment is official.

Selectmen Chairman Fred B. Arnold yesterday refused comment on the police reaction to Monday's selection of Mazza.

Arnold said Mazza and the department "will work for the benefit of the community."

Also, Labombard, who will end a 40-year career in law enforcement when he retires, said "John (Mazza) is a hard worker and was dedicated to the department when he worked here."

Mazza served 11 years as a Southwick police officer before joining the Secret Service.

Mazza's appointment is subject to a one-year probation period.
 

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It just goes to show ya how much power these little town selectmen actually have. Makes me sick, guy leaves to go Fed and then they welcome him back with open arms and above another who has been there throughout. Bulls&&t.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mazza

John Mazza was a goob cop in Southwick and a good SS Agent. He is educated, smart and has more experience eading then people thinks (Caue he is a SS Agent). He wil be very progressive and wil make a lot of positive changes in Southwick.
 

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Re: Mazza

MCOA41 said:
John Mazza was a goob cop in Southwick and a good SS Agent. He is educated, smart and has more experience eading then people thinks (Caue he is a SS Agent). He wil be very progressive and wil make a lot of positive changes in Southwick.
I like John. I have no idea why you would call him a "goob". I also think you bringing up his "eading" experience is not relevant.

:lol:
 
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