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Sunderland taps new police chief

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
By DAVID A. VALLETTE
[email protected]

SUNDERLAND - Holyoke Police Lt. Denise M. Duguay is poised to become the town's next police chief.

Pending successful salary negotiations with the Board of Selectmen, Duguay, a town resident, would take over a department headed by Sgt. Jeffrey Gilbert. Gilbert has been at the helm since Chief Evan R. Golann resigned in June. Golann had been chief since 1999.

Selectmen voted 3 to 0 Monday to name Duguay from a field of five finalists. She would be the town's first woman police chief.

"I'm very happy in Holyoke, but this is a very good opportunity," Duguay said yesterday.

"Sunderland is a great community. We feel we found the perfect home," she said.

Duguay, and her husband, Greenfield Police Officer William Trueswell, have lived in Sunderland for about 2½ years. She grew up in Amherst.

"I'm very excited about working where I live," she said.

Duguay said she had intended, when she started college, to become a lawyer, until she took a couple of criminal justice classes.

"I found it so fascinating," she said.

Duguay is in her 12th year with the Holyoke department, promoted in January from a sergeant supervising the night shift, to lieutenant in charge of records and communications, in charge of 25 people, making $79,173.

With a master's degree in criminal justice from Western New England College, she first worked in private security, then on the forces of first Amherst College then the University of Massachusetts, before joining the force in Holyoke, a police officer now for more than 17 years.

She is also a graduate of the New England Institute of Law Enforcement Management Command Training Program, and teaches criminal justice at both Western New England and Springfield colleges.

Her starting date depends on success in contract negotiations which begin this week.
 

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For those of you 'back east', Sunderland is between Amherst and Deerfield on Route 116...and yes, we are keeping the indians out of the 128 loop! :D
 

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HA HA! Good one. I work there part time. Have for 12 plus years now. It's a great town to work and live in I put in for the chiefs job also. Oh well :) I hope the Lt does well for us. We'll all need to give her a chance. Small town policing is tough. All the politics I mean. Anyway, good luck to her.
 

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Yeah no S#%T!! I just found that out also. After my tour this AM I made a few inqueries. Pays to be on the job for 24 years :) I don't know what to think now. I'm not getting a good feeling about this. :?:

Posted Sat Oct 02, 00:33:

Hey MarkBoston, If you hear anything cam you PM me? Thanks--sarge439
 

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She had to work uniform for a period of time in Holyoke. If she had to work downtown or 'the flats' she would have gained experience...very quickly. I do not know her or her history, but since 'chief' is an admin/political job, her time at records may be of use. Just having worked in Holyoke would give her a different perspective (especially working in the old 'underground' station :D ).

I reckon we should just give her a chance: there'll be time enough later for criticism if she can't cut the mustard...
 

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Hey, Mark, I don't disagree with your position...you are right...but I don't think we should 'kick-her-bag-in' because she is female...and someone please list the 'more experienced' candidates for the job. Hey, there were more experienced candidates for the Splfd chief, but , well, you know...politics at it's finest.

My point is that just because politics, politically correct or not, doesn't mean the new person will stink as chief, or chef, depending how you spell it! :D
 

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Exactly.. Town politics require "touchy feely"... The Chief's reappointment is based on how well she is percieved by the Board of Selectmen... so if she pisses them off too much, she's doomed... It sucks to be that way, but thats the way it is.. To REALLY succeed, she will need to be successful in both routes 1) Backing her troops and 2) have a touchy feely appearance.
 

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Been away at school for a two week break from mids. The new "chief" went through pay negotiations last week. Friday I believe. Noone will say what is happening up in the Tajmahal, sorry, town hall. I gotta agree with MarkBoston on this one. I was one of the applicants, so I know who the other folks were, and their qualifications. There were some more and some less qualified than her. We did have two people who are already employed by the PD. As well as the former Chief looking for his job back, as well as myself w/24 years on the job. I guess my concern is her lack of street time. Or the percieved lack of street time. And as for it being an admin job. That's where the misconception is. She will be the dayshift officer as well. Responsible for her own calls. This means everything from alarms, to dog complaints to like I had today an EDP at 7-11. So, time on the street to me is extremely important. Just because someone works in Holyoke, or any big town or city, does not mean they will perform well. We work alone in these small towns. I hope she realizes that when the s#&t hits the fan, back up can be up to ten minutes away. Oh well, nice to be back anyway, :)
 

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I know her. She worked for UMass and left since command staff there at the time were no good. One of her first assignments at HPD was to get all skanked up posing as a crack whore. Wired and with backup she would wait on the corner for the Johns to proposition her leading to their arrest. Later she had plenty of street time working her way to the DB and along the way worked as their lead sex crime investigator. She took the SGT's exam, scored way higher than two other candidates. The young punk mayor at the time bypassed her for the 2 next highest since they were friends of his and worked on his campaign. One of them didn't even have a HS diploma, just a GED and the other only an associates against her masters. She sued and the new mayor saw the light and she won out of court and got the gold badge. She blew everybody else away on the LT exam too. She has probably forgotten more about law enforcement than many of the other candidates for Sunderland Chief have ever learned on the job.

Been away at school for a two week break from mids. The new "chief" went through pay negotiations last week. Friday I believe. Noone will say what is happening up in the Tajmahal, sorry, town hall. I gotta agree with MarkBoston on this one. I was one of the applicants, so I know who the other folks were, and their qualifications. There were some more and some less qualified than her. We did have two people who are already employed by the PD. As well as the former Chief looking for his job back, as well as myself w/24 years on the job. I guess my concern is her lack of street time. Or the percieved lack of street time. And as for it being an admin job. That's where the misconception is. She will be the dayshift officer as well. Responsible for her own calls. This means everything from alarms, to dog complaints to like I had today an EDP at 7-11. So, time on the street to me is extremely important. Just because someone works in Holyoke, or any big town or city, does not mean they will perform well. We work alone in these small towns. I hope she realizes that when the s#&t hits the fan, back up can be up to ten minutes away. Oh well, nice to be back anyway, :)
 

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WOW!! Kinda just slammed us didn't you? FYI, I heard tonight, after working a 3-11, that she didn't take the job. Not enough money. Oh well. I'm sure we'll get some other high speed pro from some big city. P.S.--Saw your other post on LPD & Shutesbury merging. Think it'll work?

Posted Thu Nov 04, 01:59:

Just an update from inside Sunderland PD. The Selectmen notified the other four candidates for the Chiefs job. They did not have a second choice in the event the LT didn't take the job. All four are still interested. Sooooo, the SB is reviewing the interview tapes and will make a selection supposidly next week. As usual with small town BS/politics, the plot thickens! :/

Posted Sat Nov 06, 01:16:

Further update. Sgt. Gilbert has officially been offered the Chief's job in Sunderland. He's been with us for 6 years, 2 as Sergeant. He's been the OIC for 5 months in the abscense of a Chief. He still needs to pass the psych and physical and a background/credit check etc. I'll keep ya posted. :shock:

Posted Tue Nov 09, 02:52:

Worked a swing shift at SPD Sat night. Sgt. Gilbert is officially the Chief. It has created quite a fuss within. We actually had an officer go to the selectmen and ask how they could go from one extreme to another. The lady Lt. had several degrees, 20+ yrs. on the job, and alot of that was supervisory. Sgt. Gilbert has only 6 yrs. OTJ w/ only 2 supervisory and no degree. :?: So it kind-a tells us how the selectmen view us as a dept. There were several of us who had anywhaere from 15-24 yrs. OTJ w/degrees, and they choose the guy with least experience. Oh well. Typical small town politics. :icon_hum:
 

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Good point geolopes. I understand that he was a boat captain, but he says he was enlisted. I also understand that the position he held according to the selectmen was a supervisory one, that's where they felt his experience as a supervisor qualified him to run the dept. I just know that I'm glad I don't have to deal with the small town politics and mentality on a full time basis anymore. I will step up to the playe and try to be a part of the solution, not the problem. I'll try to help the Sarge/Chief out if he asks. However, he seems very uncomfortable asking for help. :?: Guess we'll just have to see how things work out.
 

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SIX YEARS and you get to become Chief? :wow: When I came on this job, we were told it takes at least 5 years just to feel comfortable doing the job. Less than 5 years on you also didn't have an opinion on things. It doesn't speak well for that dept. :2c:

can we get a "Deliverance" emoticon? :lol:
 

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Morning USMC Trooper. Lets not forget. We're talking about Franklin County, in Western Mass. I left a PD there in 1998 because they hired a 22 y/o kid as Chief who had only worked 4 months as a full time cop. Unless you've worked in a Franklin county town you can not even imagine the stupid s#%t that goes on. I did 20 years and finally got out. I wish now that I had pursued a State or Federal job when I was younger. But, the wifey and I wanted to settle in a quiet rural town. Great for raising a family. Lousy for the career. Anyway, enough wining for tonight. :cry: We'll have to make it work at SPD. We've got a real good bunch of guys/girls. But it's obvious what the selectboard wanted.
 
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