Welcome to the official Amherst Police Department blog!

We hope to use this site as a way to share information with, and receive information from, our community members in the town of Amherst. If one of our posts is of interest to you, please add a comment. You can also visit our website at www.amherstpd.org for other valuable information.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Brian Daly Appointed to the Position of Detective Sergeant

Chief Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce the appointment of Amherst Police Sergeant Brian C. Daly as a supervisor in the Detective Bureau.

Sergeant Daly was appointed as a patrol officer with the Amherst Police Department on April 7, 1997. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on January 24, 2005, and was assigned as a Patrol Supervisor. Sergeant Daly was a supervisor for both the Motorcycle and Bicycle Patrol Units within the department. He was a member of the department’s Crash Investigation and Search and Rescue Teams. In addition, during his career he has been a Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor and Defensive Tactics Instructor.

Sergeant Daly is certified as a Defensive Tactics Instructor/Trainer for the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee and has been actively involved in the state curriculum for Defensive Tactics. As the Veteran Officer In-Service Coordinator he was responsible for all phases of planning, staffing, scheduling and implementation of training for the state curriculum. He has been a member of the State of Massachusetts Defensive Tactics Advisory Board since his appointment in 2005.

Sergeant Daly is a State and Local Anti-Terrorism Instructor and Use of Force Instructor for the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee. He is also certified as an At Scene Traffic Crash/Motor Vehicle Homicide Investigator.

Sergeant Daly graduated from the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Academy in Agawam, a member of the 28th Municipal Police Officers Class, on August 29, 1997. In 1999, he received his associate’s degree in criminal justice from Western New England University. In 1991, he graduated from Western New England University in Springfield, MA, earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in criminal justice at Western New England University.

Brian Daly is the son of Thomas Daly of Westfield, Massachusetts. He resides with his wife, Jill, and his son, Sean.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Rich MacLean Promoted to Sergeant


Chief Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce that Detective Richard P. MacLean of the Amherst Police Department was promoted to the rank of Sergeant effective February 11, 2015. Sergeant MacLean was promoted after an extensive selection process which included a written examination and interviews with Chief Scott P. Livingstone and Town Manager John P. Musante.  This promotion will fill the position that was vacated with the promotion of Lieutenant David Knightly.
 
Sergeant MacLean was appointed as a Patrol Officer with the Amherst Police Department on September 4, 2001.  Sergeant MacLean displayed initiative and dedication to the detection and apprehension of impaired operators which was recognized by both the department and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  He was assigned to patrol duties until his reassignment to the Detective Bureau in July of 2008.

As a Detective, Sergeant MacLean obtained extensive specialized training in criminal investigative techniques which included sexual assault and homicide investigation.  He is a member of the department’s Bicycle Patrol, Warrant Entry Team, and was a Field Training Officer and Ropes Course Instructor.  Sergeant MacLean is an academy instructor for the Massachusetts Police Training Committee in multiple disciplines, a Drug Recognition Expert Instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a Breath Test Operator Instructor for the Massachusetts State Police. 
 

 

 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wanted Sex Offender Taken into Custody


 
On February 6, 2015 at approximately 2:31PM, officers from the Amherst Police Department placed Jose Dones under arrest at an apartment complex on Belchertown Road. Mr. Dones is wanted by the State of New York for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender. Dones was taken in to custody and his extradition to New York will be determined by the Courts.

Jose Dones, Age 39

912 Strong Street

Schenectady, NY

Charge:            Fugitive from Justice

Dones is being held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail. He was expected to arraigned at the Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday, February 9, 2015.

Friday, February 6, 2015

3 Amherst Officers Awarded Letter of Merit


Congratulations to Sergeant David Foster, Detective Christina Knightly and Detective Michael Forcum.

On February 4, 2015 these officers were awarded a Letter of Merit for their great work in solving a regional burglary ring which has thus far resulted in the arrest of 3 individuals.  The arrested individuals were responsible for over 100 house burglaries in Amherst, Northampton, Easthampton and other Hampshire and Berkshire County homes.  This Letter of Merit, awarded by their peers at the Amherst Police Department, recognizes these officers for the exceptional job they have done! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Prevention, Preparation and Management: March 7, 2015


Prevention, Preparation and Management: March 7, 2015
Community Notification #1 -Issued: February 5, 2015
For the past several months members of the Amherst Police Department have been planning for disturbance related activity that has historically occurred on the Saturday prior to the University of Massachusetts spring break.  Prevention has always been our number one priority and the Amherst Police Department and their community stakeholders are focusing their efforts to avert a repeat of the disturbances which have occurred over the last several years.  Preparation has been significant and continuing, as the Amherst Police and their stakeholders need to be equipped to address liabilities should disorder occur.  Additionally, Amherst Police and their stakeholders are aligning resources and activities to safely manage a disturbance, if a dangerous situation does arise. 
Members of the Amherst Police, University of Massachusetts Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police have met on numerous occasions and will continue to do so to identify resources, tactics and best practices to prevent, prepare for and manage disturbance related activity.  We appreciate the ongoing assistance from the University of Massachusetts Police Department and the State Police in preventing, preparing for and managing a critical incident.
The Town of Amherst and Amherst Police Department have met with our partners at the University of Massachusetts, including the Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor, Student Government Association and Office of Community Relations to strategize and problem solve issues of mutual concern related to March 7, 2015.  These discussions have been productive and are ongoing.  The University and Town are committed to implementing best practices as outlined in the Davis Report. 
The Amherst Police Department has met with community stakeholders in our down-town businesses including retail partners, liquor stores owners and property managers/owners.  It is important that these stakeholders understand their role and responsibilities in preventing and preparing for disturbance related activity.  We anticipate having additional meetings with these stakeholders as March 7 approaches.   
Amherst Police has also had extensive discussions with regional law enforcement partners that will be available to assistance on March 7. 
Amherst Police has been continually monitoring social media as it relates to anticipated events on March 7. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cops In Shops


The Amherst Police Department will be conducting an increased enforcement initiative to deter underage and excessive “binge” drinking.  Working in partnership with several retail liquor stores in town, undercover Amherst Police Officers will be posing as store employees or customers within liquor stores to identify persons attempting to purchase alcohol that are underage or persons that are purchasing alcohol for someone who is underage.  The mobilization titled “Cops in Shops” is being conducted this winter and spring. In 2014 Amherst Police criminally charged 135 persons under the age of 21with being in possession of alcohol.  According to Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone “Underage and excessive drinking of alcohol causes many problems in the town of Amherst, including fights, vandalism and injuries to persons.  We hope that the Cops in Shops program will be an effective tool in deterring underage drinking and we appreciate the partnership with our local liquor stores to combat this issue.” 
  
For questions regarding this enforcement initiative please contact Captain Jennifer Gundersen at gundersenj@amherstma.gov or 413-259-3012.
 
This initiative is funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Highway Safety Division.  For additional information on this grant program, go to mass.gov/highwaysafety.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Meet Canine DASH


Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce that the Amherst Police Department welcomes it newest member, K9 Dash.

The Amherst Police Canine Program was made possible by a generous $25,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation.  The Stanton Foundation has awarded numerous grants to develop canine programs within police departments throughout the Commonwealth.  More information on the Stanton Foundation can be found at http://thestantonfoundation.org/canine.

Officer Thomas (TJ) Clark (attached photo) is the department’s canine officer.  Clark, who has been with the Amherst Police Department since 2010, travelled to Pennsylvania in September to meet with the canine service dog importer and select Dash.  Dash is a 17 month old male German Shepherd who was imported from the Netherlands.

Officer Clark and Dash have been attending trainings for narcotic detection and patrol operations, and it is anticipated that this initial training will be completed in February, 2015.  At that time Officer Clark and Dash will assume regular patrol duties.  Officer Clark is currently assigned to the southeast sector of town, but covers all sectors as needs arise.  Dash will be utilized for criminal apprehension, tracking and locating missing persons, building searches, evidence and narcotics detection, crowd control and promoting favorable public relations.

Chief Livingstone, Officer Clark and Dash will be available to the press for photographs and interviews on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 2:00 PM in the Amherst Police Department Community Room.  Questions can be forwarded to Captain Jennifer Gundersen at gundersenj@amherstma.gov or 413-259-3012.

Monday, January 5, 2015

B&E Suspect Arrested After being Located Inside Residence


On January 3, 2015 at approximately 8:25PM, several officers responded to the area of Lincoln Avenue for the report of a suspicious male walking through back yards in that neighborhood. Responding officers began an area search, and eventually located a home on Lincoln Avenue that they believe had been entered through a basement bulkhead.

With the assistance of a K9 from Hadley Police Department, officers searched the interior of the home and located a suspect hiding in the attic. He was identified as Thomas P. Bridges and he was promptly placed under arrest. The ensuing investigation revealed that he had forced his entry in to the home and was in the process of stealing clothing when interrupted by responding officers.

There were additional incidents of breaking and entering in to homes in that area, and the investigation is ongoing to determine Bridges’ connection to those crimes.

Thomas P. Bridges, Age 25

Streets of Amherst

Charges:          Breaking & Entering/Night Time

                        Larceny from Building (clothing)

                        Default Warrant-Holyoke District Court, Shoplifting

                        Default Warrant-Springfield District Court, Shoplifting

 
Bridges was held in custody in lieu of $5000 cash bail. He was arraigned at the Eastern Hampshire District Court this morning.

 Lieutenant Ronald A. Young

Friday, January 2, 2015

Man Arrested After Sending Bomb Threat


On Tuesday December 30, 2104, at approximately 4:00 P.M., the Amherst Police Department received a bomb threat directed at the Amherst Police Facility, located at 111 Main Street.  The threat was made via an email sent to all Amherst Police Officers and several random email addresses not associated with the police department.  The police facility was search and no device was discovered.

After a short investigation which involved the tracking of internet service provider information used to send the message, along with other information obtained, the subject was identified.  On Wednesday December 31, 2014 at 6:45 P.M., Amherst Police Officers arrested:

George L. Checkal, age 34
Provided his address as "The Streets of Amherst"
Charge: False Bomb Threat

Checkal was held at the Hampshire County House of Correction in lieu of $5,000 cash bail.  He was arraigned Eastern Hampshire District Court on Friday January 2, 2015.

The matter remains under investigation.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Sergeant David Knightly Promoted to Lieutenant

 Chief Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce the promotion of Amherst Police Sergeant David R. Knightly, Jr. to the rank of Lieutenant effective December 29, 2014.  Sergeant Knightly was promoted after an extensive selection process which included interviews with Chief Livingstone, Town Manager John P. Musante and Human Resources Director Deborah Radway. This promotion will fill the position that was vacated with the retirement of Lieutenant Robert J. O’Connor.

David R. Knightly, Jr., a native of Amherst, joined the Amherst Police Department as a Community Service Officer in 1985.  He was appointed as a Special Police Officer in 1987.  On January 1, 1989 he was appointed as a Patrol Officer and was assigned patrol duties until his reassignment to the Detective Bureau in 1997.  Knightly was promoted to Sergeant on April 3, 2000, and was assigned as a patrol supervisor.  In 2010, he was reassigned as a supervisor in the Detective Bureau.

 Knightly was an original member of the bike patrol unit and developed both the department’s Search and Rescue Unit and Warrant Entry Team. He is a Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor and Defensive Tactics Instructor.  In addition, he is the coordinator for two community policing programs the Amherst Citizen Police Academy and Youth Fishing Derby.

 Knightly received his diploma from Amherst Regional High School in 1984 and attended Bridgton Academy in Maine. He received his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Holyoke Community College.  Knightly graduated from the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Academy in Agawam, a member of the 13th Municipal Police Officers Class, in May of 1989. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Suspect Placed Under Arrest After Motor Vehicle Break-ins


On December 19, 2014 at approximately 6:20AM. Officers of the Amherst Police Department responded to the area of Newell Court for the report of a suspicious person who may be breaking in to motor vehicles. The responding officers located Timothy R. Lakota in the area, and through their investigation learned that Lakota had been involved in several criminal acts in that area.
The investigation revealed that Lakota broke in to and entered at least three vehicles and stole contents from within. He was also found to have taken deliveries left at the door of nearby homes. All of these items were recovered from Lakota’s vehicle and will eventually be returned to the rightful owners.

Lakota was arrested at the scene:
Timothy R. Lakota, Age 26
121 North Main Street #5
Belchertown, MA 01007

 

Charges:          Breaking and Entering a Motor Vehicle (3 counts)

                        Larceny under $250 (2 counts)

                        Larceny over $250 (1 count)

                        Possession of Burglarious Tools

 

Lakota is being brought to and is expected to arraigned at the Eastern Hampshire Court this morning.
The case remains under investigation.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 Toy Drive!

Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce that the Amherst Police Department will be hosting a “Toys for Joy” holiday gift drive from December 5, 2014 through December 19, 2014.  All donations will benefit Jessie’s House and the Center for Human Development which provides temporary housing to displaced families in the Amherst-Northampton area.  The Amherst Police Department is collecting unwrapped gift donations and gift cards (no cash) for children 6 months to 12 years old.  Toys and/or wrapping supplies can be brought to the Amherst Police Department located at 111 Main St., Amherst, MA.  For more information contact Officer Marcus Humber at (413) 259-3008 or humberm@amherstma.gov.